Automotive Intelligence - the web for automotive professionals and car enthusiasts
October 31, 2007
The state-of-the-art facility will be situated at GM’s new corporate campus in Shanghai’s Pudong New Area, which will be home to GM’s operations in China, including its Asia Pacific headquarters. The first phase of construction is slated for completion in late 2008.
According to Wagoner, joint research and development will be focused on three main areas: alternative fuels, advanced alternative energy propulsion systems, and manufacturing and supplier energy efficiency.
Alternative Fuels – GM will commit significant resources to exploring various bio-fuel options, including the development of non-food cellulosic ethanol technologies .
Advanced Alternative Energy Propulsion Systems – Studies will include the development of lightweight materials designed to reduce the mass and improve the energy efficiency of motor vehicles. The center will also work on the electrification of the motor vehicle. GM is significantly expanding and accelerating its commitment to the development of electrically driven vehicles, beyond what it has already committed to with its fuel cell and hybrid programs.
“We see China as being among the first markets and production sites for alternative propulsion systems, including the new flexible fuel, plug-in type of electric vehicles currently under development by GM. This flexible vehicle, which can accommodate a variety of propulsion systems and fuels, is the perfect platform for illustrating the range and diversity of projects this new center will undertake,” Wagoner said.
Manufacturing and Supplier Energy Efficiency – GM is committed to environmental leadership in China in both its products and facilities. “We will proactively work with our partners, joint ventures and suppliers to reduce energy consumption and increase the recyclability of materials, reduce emissions and eliminate plant waste throughout the manufacturing chain,” Wagoner said.
China Automotive Energy Research Center (CAERC)
GM and SAIC will jointly provide a US$5 million grant over the next five years to Tsinghua University to establish the China Automotive Energy Research Center (CAERC). Based in Beijing, CAERC will work with various organizations in government, academia, and related industries in China to develop a comprehensive and integrated energy strategy. Tsinghua University, SAIC and GM will share resources and personnel, and collaborate on numerous projects to develop a strategy for reducing China’s reliance on petroleum-based fuel. The common objective of the partners is to make the center China’s most advanced organization for automotive energy research and strategy development.
According to He Jiankun, Vice President of Tsinghua University , “Our university has long been known as one of the world’s great educational institutions. GM and SAIC are among the world’s great companies. Bringing our organizations together to work on a comprehensive and integrated automotive energy strategy for China will be invaluable to the country’s sustainable mobility. This, in turn, will create tremendous value for China’s people by greatly improving the quality of life they and their children will enjoy. We’re very excited about the potential for our cooperation.”
According to SAIC Motor President Chen Hong, “The establishment of an energy research center illustrates the importance of partnership to the future of our country – partnership among companies, partnership among universities and partnership among countries. As the automotive industry grows, we have a responsibility as industry leaders to ensure we understand the opportunities and the challenges ahead of us. This center will help.”
(Oct 29, 2007)