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Chang’an Auto to launch EV for private consumers in 2014

CHONGQING – Chang’an Auto plans to launch its first battery electric vehicle targeting the private consumer market in 2014, cited the company’s vice president Chen Ping as saying.

“The Chang’an E30 battery car is mostly made for taxi fleet and government procurement. The environment for personal EV is not mature yet,” said Chen.

Chang’an Auto delivered 100 pure electric taxi E30s to Beijing’s Fangshan District for new energy vehicle demonstration on February 28, 2012.

Chen revealed that Beijing will increase the adoption of electric taxi operation and Chang’an Auto already obtained an order but the details are not decided yet. The new EVs will still be put in demonstration in Fangshan.

According to Chen, Chang’an Auto can produce 10,000 EVs annually. “Taxi fleet and government procurement are guided by the government. We hope this market could be further promoted by more stimulus policies.”

Chen hailed the release of the Energy-Saving and New Energy Vehicle Industry Development Plan (2012-2020), saying government will be playing the leading role in promoting new energy vehicles. Chang’an Auto plans to focus on the markets in Beijing and Chongqing.

Before going into taxi operation, the Chang’an E30 scored a five-star rating during an all-direction crash test at the China Automotive Technology and Research Center (CATARC), China’s major crash test institution in Tianjin, in January 2012. It is reportedly China’s first five-star result on electric vehicle crash tests.

“The E30 is performing better than we have expected, which shows our technology is reliable,” said Chen.

The market for private EV consumers is yet to be cracked because there are still hurdlers in technology, cost and infrastructure. But Chang’an Auto expects to launch an EV for private buyers as it thinks the private market may begin to form in 2014.

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