Ford is in talks to launch fully electric cars for China, after announcing today it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Chinese car firm Anhui Zotye Automobile to develop a joint venture.
Anhui Zotye Automobile is a big manufacturer of zero-emission all-electric vehicles in China. The firms are discussing forming a joint venture to sell electric cars in the country under a brand owned by the joint venture.
Both firms would hold a 50-50 stake in the joint venture.
Anhui Zotye sold more than 16,000 all-electric vehicles in the year through to July, a 56 per cent year-on-year rise.
Ford, which today also unveiled a UK scrappage scheme to help reduce emissions, said the memorandum of understanding with Anhui Zotye "is consistent with Ford's vision for a more sustainable auto industry", as well as efforts to contribute to improving air quality and addressing climate change.
“The potential to launch a new line of all-electric vehicles in the world’s largest auto market is an exciting next step for Ford in China,” said Peter Fleet, Ford group vice president and president, Ford Asia Pacific. “Electric vehicles will be a big part of the future in China and Ford wants to lead in delivering great solutions to customers.”
The joint venture would aim to capture "a sizeable share" of China's all-electric passenger vehicle market, though the firms said further details, including information about products, production volume, and the brand, will be announced at a later date, pending a final definitive agreement and the regulatory go-ahead.
China is the world's largest market for electric cars, after the government ramped up incentives in a bid to help tackle the country's air pollution troubles. Ford expects the market for new energy vehicles to grow to six million per year by 2025, and approximately four million of those to be all-electric.
“This presents us with an exciting opportunity to leverage each other’s strengths in achieving a win-win situation for both parties’ growth in the fast-evolving Chinese electric vehicle market," said Jin Zheyong, chairman and president, Anhui Zotye Automobile.