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Car firms help plan charging network

RENAULT SA and Japan's Nissan Motor Corp are to help the Chinese government build a battery-charging network for electric vehicles.

The Renault-Nissan alliance said yesterday that it would help map out a comprehensive plan for the development and marketing of electric vehicles in China, according to an agreement signed with China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in Beijing.

Nissan plans to sell electric vehicles in China from early 2011. Following similar programs in 10 other countries, the partnership will allow the alliance to extend the promotion of electric vehicles to China, which is working hard on developing its own energy vehicles to address environmental and energy issues.

Earlier this year, China launched a demonstration program in 13 cities, including Shanghai, Beijing and Wuhan, offering subsidies on the purchase of new-energy public transport vehicles.

Nissan also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Wuhan government yesterday to select the city as the first to promote its electric vehicles in China.

BYD Automobile Co, the Chinese car maker backed by Warren Buffett, launched its plug-in hybrid car F3DM in China late last year while Chery Automobile Co rolled out its first self-developed electric car, the S18, in February.

China aims to have 60,000 clean energy vehicles on the streets by 2012.

Over the next three years, the government is to provide 10 billion yuan (US$1.46 billion) to auto makers for new technology and research.


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