China’s biggest carmaker to accelerate push into hydrogen vehicles

By BLOOMBERG | 14 September 2020

SHANGHAI: China’s biggest vehicle maker is accelerating a push into alternative energy, targeting a lead in hydrogen cars as it moves beyond gasoline and electric autos.

SAIC Motor Corp. plans to gain 10% of China’s hydrogen-vehicle market by 2025 as global automakers step up development of clean-energy cars to help protect the environment.

The company will add at least 10 hydrogen models over the next five years, it said in a statement.
The nascent hydrogen-vehicle market globally is dominated by companies such as Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp. and Canada’s Ballard Power Systems Inc.


China’s government is putting its policy might behind the technology — just as it has done with battery-electric vehicles — encouraging more companies to participate. Three industry sources familiar with policy discussions said authorities could announce a new policy as early as this month.

The government wants 1 million fuel-cell vehicles on the roads in a decade and is spending hundreds of millions of yuan to subsidiSe purchases and spur research and development. And, as seen with battery-powered cars, a slew of startups and established companies are trying to capitalize on the policies.

SAIC, based in Shanghai, said it targets a valuation of 10 billion yuan (RM6bil) for its hydrogen fuel-cell development arm in the next five years.

Commercial vehicle maker Beiqi Foton Motor, a BAIC's unit, said last week it aims to sell 4,000 hydrogen vehicles by 2023, and 15,000 such vehicles by 2025.

China now only has a fleet of over 7,000 hydrogen vehicles, compared with over 4 million pure battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Pilot cities will likely include Beijing, Shanghai, as well as those in northern Shanxi and eastern Jiangsu provinces, according to sources, who declined to be named as the issue is not public.

Some global automakers from Toyota Motor to Hyundai Motor have already announced plans for hydrogen vehicles in China. — Additional text by Reuters