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May 24, 2021

A Chinese automaker has set up a new EV making JV with a battery supplier and mobile telecommunications specialist.

By Graeme Roberts

Chinese state-owned carmaker Chongqing Changan Automobile has set up a new joint venture with local electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) and mobile telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies, according to a recent statement to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

The new company, called Avatar Technology, will operate as an independent company producing high-end smart EVs based on a jointly developed CHN architecture. The vehicles will use electronic systems including semiconductors developed by Huawei and batteries made by CATL.

The new joint venture is expected to help Changan, which is seen as a late comer in the electric vehicle segment, compete with a growing number of premium EV brands and models entering the Chinese market including dedicated EV manufacturers such as Nio, Xpeng and Tesla as well as from existing vehicle manufacturers such as SAIC Motor, FAW Group, Volkswagen and General Motors.

Last month, Changan chairman Zhu Huarong said his company planned to launch up to 26 smart EV models in China in the next five years with the first two scheduled to be unveiled this year.

By 2030 around 60% of new passenger vehicle sales in China are expected to be new energy vehicles, mostly battery-powered models, according to local analysts.

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