BEIJING, Sept 22 General Motors and
General Electric signed a memorandum of understanding on
Thursday to jointly work to speed up deployment of electric
vehicle charging infrastructure in China.
The cooperation will focus on the Shanghai metropolitan
area, which has been designated China's first EV pilot city,
according to the MOU, which was signed in Shanghai.
The companies will install GE charging stations at an EV
demonstration zone and at GM's offices in the city.
Both GM's and GE's China headquarters are in Shanghai.
GE will purchase an unspecified number of GM's Chevrolet
Volt -- a new battery-powered car that also has an internal
combustion engine that kicks in when the battery is depleted --
for use at its Shanghai campus, according to the agreement.
GM plans to put the Volt, which has a range of 80 kilometers
on its battery and 490 kilometers with its gas-powered engine,
on the Chinese market before the end of this year.
Automakers in China are producing a variety of EVs as China
tries to control pollution from the rapidly expanding number of
cars in China, which overtook the United States to be the
world's largest automobile market in 2009.
The GM-GE cooperation comes two days after GM and its
Chinese partner SAIC Motor Corp signed an agreement
to develop and build electric vehicles in China.
That deal will allow GM and SAIC to offer EVs that qualify
for expected Chinese "green" subsidies, for which the Volt is
not eligible because it is not built in China.
The subsidies would provide buyers with a discount, either
before or after purchase.
(Reporting by Terril Yue Jones; Editing by Ken Wills)