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BJEV invests in the application of science with $291m new test facility

By Cao Yingying | China Daily | Updated: 2019-07-29 10:31
BJEV showcases its Arcfox-branded electric vehicles at the Shanghai auto show in April. [Photo by Li Fusheng/China Daily]

BJEV, the electric car subsidiary of the Chinese manufacturer BAIC, opened its new experimental center last week, as part of efforts to promote its long-term and high-quality sustainable development.

With an investment of more than 2 billion yuan ($291 million), the experimental center covers 50,000 square meters. It contains 88 laboratories and more than 400 suites of advanced testing facilities.

Based on BJEV's development and verification of electric vehicles, the center will test the vehicles, key systems and auto components.

This will cover six key fields: battery, electric motor, electric control unit, lightweight materials, intelligent connectivity and complete vehicle application.

A new model will undergo 378 vehicle tests, 407 system tests and 4,774 component tests in this center to ensure product quality.

"The official opening of this new energy vehicle experiment center showcases BAIC's pursuit of product quality and safety, and it has significance to improve the innovation ability and strengthen high-level cooperation," said Wan Gang. He is vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and a main advocate of China's new energy vehicle program.

BAIC Chairman Xu Heyi said that with the center, BAIC will boost high-quality development of the new energy vehicle industry. This will transform and upgrade the industry in the world's largest auto market, he added.

The new center is in its first phase. The company is expected to complete the construction of the second phase by the second quarter of 2020.

According to the company, BJEV's investment in new energy vehicle research and development reached 5.3 billion yuan.

This accounts for 10 percent of the company's revenue.

Since BJEV released its tech system, Darwin, last October with 11 technologies, Yang Zifa, director of BJEV engineering research institute, released seven new technologies last week.

It includes intelligent temperature control and wireless charging technology. These technologies are being added to new models.

In addition to independent innovation, BJEV attaches importance to collaborative work.

The electric carmaker set up joint laboratories with 14 partners, including Germany's Daimler, battery supplier CATL and Huawei Technologies. They will focus on battery, vehicle control, electric drive and quality testing and other sectors.

With all the efforts, the company has become the country's largest electric carmaker by sales.

Statistics show that in June, BJEV sold 26,072 electric vehicles, jumping 438 percent year-on-year.

A total of 65,159 units were sold in the first half of this year, with an increase of 22 percent compared with same period last year.

Among them, 90 percent are featured with the Darwin system and their price is more than 120,000 yuan.

The sales of the EU5, the company's first model to adopt the Darwin system, reached 16,389 units last month, accounting for more than 12.5 percent of the pure electric car market share.

A total of 47,493 EU5s were sold in the first six months, making it the best-selling new energy vehicle and pure electric vehicle.

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