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GAC Group keeping pace with fast-changing new energy car sector

By Cao Yingying | China Daily | Updated: 2019-08-05 09:37
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GAC New Energy Automobile showcases its Aion LX, the first electric SUV model equipped with ADiGO, in Shenzhen, Guangdong province on July 28. The model is scheduled to go into production in September. [Photo by Cao Yingying/China Daily]

The new energy vehicle sector is changing at a pace that is faster than most expected, but Guangzhou-based carmaker GAC Group is adapting its efforts in a bid to innovate and lead the way, the company said.

Its latest attempt on this front is an intelligent connectivity system, called ADiGO, that was unveiled late last month.

The system features autonomous driving, intelligent connection and forthcoming cloud and big data platforms.

The ADiGO system project was led by GAC and supported by Tencent and Huawei Technologies, to satisfy consumers' changing demands for automotive products and travel modes.

Aion LX, the first electric SUV model equipped with ADiGO, is scheduled to go into production in September.

In the future, a series of GAC Trumpchi models will also feature the system, according to the carmaker.

GAC Group has invested more than 21 billion yuan ($3.03 billion) in research and development in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, Shanghai and in North America.

Last December, GAC New Energy Automobile completed the construction of the first phase of its intelligent factory in Guangzhou, which has an annual production capacity of 400,000 units. GAC reached a deal with the Shaoguan government in Guangdong province to establish a test hub focusing on new energy vehicles, intelligent connectivity and autonomous driving sectors in January.

According to the company, it has established its second-generation electric vehicle manufacturing platform.

The Aion S sedan, the first model built based on the platform that launched in late April, has received more than 50,000 orders.

The model has Level 2 autonomous driving and features a range of up to 510 kilometers.

Gu Huinan, general manager of GAC New Energy Automobile, said that in the past two years, some of the difficulties associated with new energy vehicles have been partly solved, such as lack of mileage and charging piles.

Two years ago, most new energy vehicles had a mileage of 300 kilometers. When GAC New Energy Automobile launches the Aion LX SUV, it will have a mileage of more than 600 km.

The company will continue to work on mileage to relieve customer anxiety, Gu said.

Infrastructure has kept pace with the fast-growing new energy vehicle market.

According to statistics from the China Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Promotion Alliance, there were 410,000 public charging piles and 590,000 private ones in operation across the country by the end of June.

China added 140,000 new public charging piles in the past year, with an average growth rate of 11,700 new piles per month.

Earlier this year, China amended its subsidies for new energy vehicle makers, dropping financial help by about 50 percent and scrapping the list of recommended battery suppliers.

The policy changes will eliminate some companies with those remaining to focus on product quality, boosting the entire industry, Gu said.

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