VW's electric vehicle platform will go to China too but not through this new joint venture.
Volkswagen will follow through with plans for creating a new affordable electric vehicle brand in China with Anhui Jianghuai Automobile, commonly known as JAC. The new marque will be part of the German automaker’s strategy of increasing its EV sales there. Jochem Heizmann, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group China, confirmed the decision to local media, according to Automotive News Europe. VW and JAC signed a memorandum of understanding in early September for potentially forming the new joint venture company.
VW and JAC will work to get the new vehicles on the road quickly by using the Chinese automaker’s existing EV platform. An official announcement will come later in the year, according to Automotive News Europe. JAC’s current range includes two electric models. The IEV5 (left) is a four-door compact sedan with a 23 kilowatt-hour battery and 67 horsepower (50 kilowatt) electric motor. The firm claims a total driving range of 124 miles (200 kilometers). The IEV6S (right) is a five-door hatchback that’s capable of going 156 miles (251 km) thanks to a 33-kWh battery and 114-hp (85 kW) motor.
JAC is China’s ninth-largest automaker but a leader in the EV market there. It also produces many models with internal combustion engines, including commercial vehicles.
The two companies have apparently gotten past any bad feelings after JAC blatantly copied the Audi A6’s design a few years ago. The Refine A6 model name didn’t do much to hide the similarities, either.
The new joint venture would be just a small part of VW’s EV strategy in China. According to Automotive News Europe, the German automaker will sell models on the MEB electric car platform through its partnerships with SAIC and China FAW Group. The vehicles won’t arrive until 2020 at the soonest, though.
VW’s EV push comes as China gets serious about lowering vehicle emissions. In some cities, offering an EV may even be the only way for a company to sell a car. Some brands are already reacting to the change with market-exclusive electric models, like Daimler and its Denza 400.
Source: Automotive News Europe