BJEV, the new-energy vehicle arm of automaker BAIC, has been approved as the first new-energy vehicle manufacturer, according to an announcement released on the official website of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
With a total investment of 1.15 billion yuan ($176.4 million), the company’s new-energy pure electric passenger vehicle project will be composed of two parts. In the first part, the company will focus on R&D, trial runs, and manufacture in quantity of high-end products, with an annual output of 20,000 vehicles. In the second part the company will establish Laixi Base in Qingdao city, Shandong province, with an annual output of 50,000 vehicles.
In the first quarter, BJEV sold 6,006 vehicles in total, a year on year increase of 273 percent, with 2,532 pure electric vehicles sold in March, the highest total in the electric vehicles market.
In China, to obtain qualification to manufacture and sell entire vehicles, a company needs authorization from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
In 2015, BJEV sold 20,129 vehicles, an increase of 265 percent over the previous year. Its market share rose to 24.2 percent. Xu Heyi, chairman of BAIC Group, said in April that BJEV plans to sell 70,000 vehicles, and targets 80,000 vehicles if possible. If that higher figure is reached, the company’s sales volume will have increased no less than 247.7 percent year on year.