Better Place said it signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chery, China’s largest independent carmaker and exporter, to collaborate on electric car technology in China.
Under the MoU, Better Place and Chery will jointly develop switchable-battery electric car prototypes with the goal of securing regional Chinese government electric vehicle pilot projects.
As part of the collaboration agreement, the Chery exhibit at Auto China 2010 features elements of the Better Place EV solution, including electric vehicle charge spots and battery-switch technology displayed with a Riich G5 sedan.
China has set an industrial policy with the objective of becoming the largest EV developer and manufacturer in the world. The government has enacted a suite of pro-EV policies related to both electric car production and consumption. These policies include purchase and technology development incentives, as well as vehicle pilot requirements. These incentives will help drive the central government’s national goal of achieving production capacity of 500,000 “new energy vehicles” by 2011, including electric cars, hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles. This policy package is considered one of the strongest in the world.
HSBC research predicts that China’s share of the global EV market will grow from 2.7% this year to 35% by 2020. During this time period, China will overtake Japan by 2016 and the U.S. by 2019 in dominating the global EV market.
Better Place is aiming to build a network of charging stations for electric cars, leasing batteries to customers for use in their vehicles. Better Place is already building networks in Israel, Denmark and Australia.
“With only 2% of China’s population owning cars and 80% of sales in 2009 to first-time car buyers, China has the opportunity to create and lead an entirely new category around clean transportation,” said Dan Cohen, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for Better Place. “With the scale of Chery’s design and manufacturing capability and an industrial policy that favors EV over ICE, we believe China represents an unprecedented opportunity for Better Place. Our collaboration with Chery is just the beginning for Better Place in China.”