Fri, Jan 11, 2019 - Page 10 News List

Volkswagen to establish charging facilities in China


Volkswagen AG is setting up a network of fast-charging stations in China with local partners as part of its multibillion-dollar push to boost electric-vehicle sales in the world’s largest market, people familiar with the matter said.

Volkswagen and long-standing partner China FAW Group Co (一汽集團) would each own 30 percent of the venture operating charging facilities nationwide, said the people, who asked not to be named as the discussions are private.

Two other Chinese firms would hold the rest, the people said.

The charging venture is part of Volkswagen’s plan to invest 4 billion euros (US$4.5 billion) with partners on electrification and smart vehicles this year, the people said.

The companies would jointly invest an initial 1 billion yuan (US$147 million) in the venture and plan to increase their bets over the years, they said.

Talks for the venture are near completion and it is scheduled to be set up in the first half of this year, the people said.

SAIC Motor Corp (上海汽車), another Volkswagen partner, is ready to get onboard, with more Chinese auto and battery makers expected to join in future, they said.

A Volkswagen spokesman in China declined to comment.

FAW did not have an immediate comment, while calls to an SAIC representative went unanswered.

Separately, Germany’s influential BDI industry association has called on the EU to adopt a tougher economic policy toward China to help firms as concern mounts over price dumping, technology transfer, and unequal access to licenses and financing.

In a paper that was to be presented yesterday, the BDI said that German firms need China as a market, but sounded the alarm about Beijing’s reluctance to open up access, making 54 demands to Berlin and Brussels to help.

“Beijing should in its own interests further open its domestic market and properly implement its long-announced economic reforms,” BDI president Dieter Kempf said.

The paper called for the EU to create a stronger economic framework for its own internal market to bind firms from non-market economies to its own liberal economic system. Among its demands are toughening up EU subsidy rules. It also called for more EU investment in infrastructure and innovation.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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