November 18, 2015 / 1:08 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-China's Geely aims for 90 pct of sales to be green energy cars by 2020

* Geely to completely overhaul product portfolio

* Aims for 90 pct of sales to be new-energy vehicles by 2020

* Says will focus partly on electric-fuel hybrids

* Company did not disclose level of investment (Adds detail, context)

BEIJING, Nov 18 (Reuters) - China’s Geely Automobile Holdings plans to concentrate entirely on developing green energy vehicles, eschewing traditional combustion engines and completely overhauling its product portfolio, the company said on Wednesday.

Geely wants 90 percent of sales to be so-called new-energy vehicles by 2020, the company said in a press release.

The carmaker announced the plan, dubbed “Blue Geely”, for new-energy vehicles, which in China refers primarily to battery powered and hybrid cars, ahead of the Guangzhou auto show, which opens on Friday.

Geely did not disclose how much it would invest in the scheme.

The announcement echoes Toyota Motor Corp’s plans to sell 30,000 fuel-cell cars a year by 2020.

Geely is the latest in a series of auto manufacturers to announce such plans, with companies having earmarked about 76 billion yuan ($11.9 billion) this year for future development and production of green cars, according to data compiled by Reuters.

The Chinese company, however, lacks Toyota’s expertise in green energy. While the Japanese carmaker has spent heavily on research and development, Geely remains a relative unknown in the field.

Geely said it will focus partially on electric-fuel hybrids, akin to the Toyota Prius, a rarity for Chinese automakers. It will also conduct research on hydrogen car technology.

China’s government is promoting the development of electric vehicles through subsidies and strict fuel economy standards, viewing green cars as the domestic auto industry’s chance to catch up with global competitors.

Reporting by Jake Spring and Paul Carsten; Editing by David Goodman

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