Volkswagen AG is planning local production of its electric vehicles in China in 2013 or 2014, Yang Meihong, vice president of Volkswagen Group China, said at the launching ceremony of the “China Low-Carbon Corporation Initiative” held on Nov 12 in Beijing, China Securities Journal reported Tuesday.
The German automaker’s two local ventures, separately built with SAIC Motor Corp Ltd (SAIC) and First Automobile Works (FAW), will undertake production of the EVs, according to Yang.
A lot of work needs to be done before the production starts, including collection of road-test data, selection of the cell suppliers and so on. Volkswagen is inclined to use lithium-ion batteries on its electric vehicles due to their advantages over nickel-zinc batteries other types of batteries in terms of energy efficiency, quality, safety, etc..
Every Volkswagen has very high localization rate in China and has thus helped the automaker incubated a group of local suppliers, Yang said, adding that Volkswagen has been seeking for local suppliers of electronic systems, high-voltage cable systems and other core components and is now testing products from more than ten Chinese suppliers.
Volkswagen delivered nearly 1.5 million vehicles in China in the first three quarters this year, and expected to have a capacity of 3 million in the country by 2013 or 2014, Yang said.