Electric auto JV set for bright future

22 August, 2017, 23:40 | Author: Terri Saunders
  • Louisville Assembly Plant employees assembling the 2013 Ford Escape on the production line in Louisville

The goal of this partnership is simple - Ford wants to build a whole new line of electric vehicles in China.

Ford has two JVs set up with other automakers including Changan Automobile and Jiangling Motors, and normally that's the upper limit for joint ventures allowed by Chinese industry regulators.

Ford Motor Co. said it will explore setting up a joint venture to produce electric vehicles in China with Anhui Zotye Automobile Co. as manufacturers step up their investments in lower-emission cars in the world's biggest auto market.

Ford expects the market for new-energy vehicles in China to grow to six million units annually by 2025, of which around 4 million vehicles will be all-electric. Automakers need zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) to represent 8% of new auto sales as soon as 2018 and quickly ramp up to 12% by 2020.

China already accounts for 40% of all electric cars sold worldwide, according to the International Energy Agency. The country is aiming to have at least 20% of the vehicles sold there to be at least partially electric powered, amid ever-rising air pollution levels that are killing tens of thousands of people a year.

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A Ford spokesman said the company hoped to reach an agreement with Zotye by the end of the year.

But Ford is not the only major global automaker trying to increase electric vehicle sales in China.

With a projected 4 million all-electric vehicles per year to be sold in China by 2025, the opportunity is certainly big enough for a number of players. The automaker now has joint ventures in the country with Chongqing Changan Automobile Co. and Jiangling Motors Corp.

Zotye's sales through July are in excess of 16,000 electric vehicles, which is up 56% year-over-year from sales through the first seven months of 2016. But after a period of incentivizing EV sales, the government slashed subsidies by 20% in January and slowed subsidy approvals, Reuters reported in March.

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