China's Changan, Electrovaya to launch electric car in Canada

Tue Nov 4, 2008 5:24am EST
 

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Changan Automobile Group, Ford Motor's China partner, said on Tuesday it will roll out 30 electric cars developed jointly with Electrovaya in Canada before the end of this year, potentially becoming the first Chinese auto maker to tap the North American market.

Changan and Electrovaya, maker of portable power technology products, started developing electric cars since May, with Changan providing one of its conventional compact models and the Canadian company working on the power train, a company executive told Reuters.

Electrovaya is responsible for the distribution of electric cars, assembled in Canada and developed based on Changan's hot-selling Ben Ben, for the time being, said the executive, who asked not to be identified.

Changan will eventually develop the made-in-China clean energy cars on its own and ship them to the hotly-contested market, he said, without providing a time frame or sales target.

Other Chinese players, such as BYD auto, an automaking unit of Hong Kong-listed rechargeable battery maker BYD Co, are also eager to tap the clean energy vehicle market at home and overseas.

BYD Auto has signed up 10 distributors for its self-made plug-in hybrid car in Europe, well ahead of its targeted entry into that market in 2010, the head of the firm's export arm Henry Li told Reuters last week.

(Reporting by Fang Yan, Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

 
<p>Employees work at the production line inside the Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Co. plant in Nanjing September 24, 2007. REUTERS/Aly Song</p>