China says Volkswagen to make EV in Shanghai

BEIJING, Sept 28 Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:43pm EDT

BEIJING, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Volkswagen AG's car venture with SAIC Motor Corp plans to make an electric car, joining Nissan, Daimler and other automakers planning green car projects in the world's biggest auto market.

Tantus, which will be produced by Shanghai Volkswagen, is already on a list of approved new vehicles, according to China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

A Shanghai Volkswagen spokesperson declined to comment.

Beijing has declared the electric vehicle industry a top priority, earmarking $1.5 billion a year for the next 10 years to transform the country into one of the leading producers of clean vehicles.

But customers so far remain unimpressed by the high cost, limited range and lack of charging infrastructure for the vehicles.

In Shanghai, with more than 20 million people, there are only 10 registered electric cars, while the number in Hangzhou is only slightly higher at 25, according to China Business News.

Still, Daimler AG (DAIGn.DE), Nissan Motor and General Motors have all committed to make and sell electric cars in partnership with their local partners. (Reporting by Fang Yan and Ken Wills)

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