Volkswagen set to establish a new China R&D center with a focus on developing electric vehicles
For Volkswagen Group China, expanding into this vast market is a high priority. With the rise of China's purchasing power, the ever stricter local and government pollution regulation, electric cars are going to be the norm even in the world's most populous country. Furthermore, the company has been hit heavily with the diesel emission scandal and its now scrambling both to clear its name, but also, to introduce cleaner and more future-proof models in the near future.
That being said, in order to further reinforce the Sino-German cooperation, as well as to provide additional support to the Volkswagen Group China’s quest to become a leader in e-mobility, VW is set to introduce the Seat brand to China by 2020/2021. The Volkswagen Chinese division is set to combine forces with Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Corp., Ltd. (JAC) and SEAT in order to establish a new China R&D center.
The R&D center is envisioned to perform work that will create viable solutions in several key areas: electric vehicle development, connectivity, autonomous driving technologies, and ultimately, developing a competitive platform for battery electric vehicles (BEV). All key areas are set to be tackled with specific Chinese market requirements in mind. In turn, this will create a unique set of goals for all of the partners and push Volkswagen to currently unexplored territories. The R&D center - alongside with all the relevant parts and components and core technologies - is set for a 2021 completion date.
Ultimately, the goal of this partnership is to develop a competitive vehicle platform that brings several key developments in the field of e-mobility. In turn, it will allow Volkswagen to develop 40 locally-produced electric vehicle models for the Chinese market within the next 7-8 years. This is all part of the comprehensive electrification initiative “Roadmap E,” set forth by the company. Strong efforts and contributions are expected from JAC Volkswagen, FAW-Volkswagen, SAIC VOLKSWAGEN and Volkswagen Group China in the following years. All of this will play a key role in Volkswagen Group’s e-mobility plans for China for the next few years.
Source: Green Car Congress