China's Chery Auto Unveils Electric Car

Feb. 20, 2009
Car has no option to run on gasoline

China's largest independent carmaker Chery Automobile rolled off its first plug-in electric car this week, the latest Chinese automotive company to produce an alternative energy vehicle.

The all-electric car, S18, can go up to 150 kilometers (93 miles) on one charge and has a maximum speed of 120 kilometers (72 miles) an hour, the company said.

The battery can be fully charged within six hours using a 220-volt home outlet, while 80% of the battery can be charged within 30 minutes.

"The price will be very suitable for families," Yuan Tao, vice president of Chery said, without offering details.It was also unclear when the car would be available to buy.

Unlike another Chinese carmaker, the BYD Co., which began selling its plug-in electric hybrid car in China in December, Chery has not given the S18 the option of running on petrol.

BYD's plug-in hybrid, named the F3DM, can travel 100 kilometers on its battery, or 580 kilometers in hybrid mode with petrol.

Domestic manufacturers of clean vehicles are likely to get a boost from the government in the form of a policy package to help the car industry through the global economic crisis.

China's Ministry of Finance said the government planned to subsidise purchases of alternative energy vehicles to expand domestic demand, boost the domestic car industry and reduce pollution emissions.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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