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New-energy vehicles take spotlight at Beijing auto show

Automakers aim to sell more new-energy vehicles as they intend to tap growing demand for green cars in China.

New-energy vehicle take the spotlight at the 15th Beijing International Automotive Exhibition as automakers aim to tap the growing demand for green cars in China.

Auto giants relish the potential of the Chinese market for new-energy vehicles as China aims to have such vehicles account for more than 20 percent of the country’s annual car sales by 2025.

The eight-day auto show, to be held at China International Exhibition Center till May 4, will display 174 new-energy vehicles, according to data from the official website of the exhibition. Of the 174 new-energy vehicles, 124 are from domestic carmakers and 50 are from global automakers.

Volvo Cars said today that it targets electric cars to account for 50 percent of its total sales by 2025. 

“Today we reinforce and expand that commitment in the world’s leading market for electric cars. China’s electric future is Volvo Cars’ electric future,” said Hakan Samuelsson, president and chief executive officer of Volvo Cars.

For the first time Volvo Cars will only display plug-in hybrid vehicles at the Beijing auto show. The company also said all of the three Volvo Cars plants in China will soon produce either plug-in hybrid or pure electric vehicles.

German automaker BMW is driving its electrification strategy by extending the reach of its electric vehicle offering in China’s auto market. BMW showed its electric SUV concept car, the BMW Concept iX3, during a media preview at the auto show for the first time today. BMW said it will produce the BMW Concept iX3 in China in 2020 at its BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture.

“China is leading the development of e-mobility. This is why we choose to showcase the BMW iX3 concept car for the first time in Beijing," said Harald Krueger, chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG. "2018 underlines the company’s commitment to the next step in its electrification strategy.”

Domestic automakers, meanwhile, are not taking the backseat as they are also developing their own new-energy vehicles banking on the promising future of new-energy vehicles in the country.

Geely unveiled Bo Rui GE, its first intelligent plug-in hybrid sedan jointly developed by Geely and Volvo, at the show today. This new-energy vehicle will be launched in the Chinese market in the first half of 2018.

At the same time Geely has also introduced a 48V mild hybrid version of the Bo Rui GE, which improves fuel economy by 15 percent over a traditional gasoline model. The Chinese car manufacturer said that more new-energy vehicles will follow the Bo Rui GE.

An Conghui, president and chief executive officer of Geely Auto Group, said that “China will ultimately become the global center of a new energy revolution. We aim to mass produce new-energy vehicles by the year 2020."

Another Chinese automaker, Great Wall, also displayed its first plug-in hybrid SUV model WEY P8 and its electric concept car WEY-X today at the auto show. The company said the WEY P8 model has already been launched this month.

A total of 1,022 vehicles will be exhibited, of which 105 are world premiers with 16 from global automakers and 89 from domestic manufacturers.

With a total exhibition area of 220 thousand square meters, the exhibition has attracted over 1,200 exhibitors from 14 countries and regions.

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