Chinese state owned automaker BAIC Group has agreed to step up collaboration with the country’s leading electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology Company Limited (CATL) to help improve its competitiveness in the country’s fast growing new energy vehicle (NEV) market which comprises mostly electric and plug in hybrid vehicles.

Beijing based BAIC, which has been collaborating with CATL since 2010, said CATL would become “deeply integrated into the vehicle development and production process” of its upcoming NEVs “to provide competitive power battery products and services”.

The automaker added their deeper strategic relationship would improve the development of both companies, giving them “abundant impetus for strategic expansion on both sides”.

BAIC was one of the first Chinese car companies to enter NEV segments but has failed to build on its early advantage. The company recently announced it was stepping up its “low carbon” new model programme under its newly implemented ‘BLUE Plan’ strategy, with a view to achieving peak greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2025.

Last month, BAIC signed an agreement with Bosch (China) to strengthen long standing collaboration with the German components manufacturer, particularly in areas such as intelligent cabin, intelligent driving and intelligent networking.

BAIC Group sold 1.45m vehicles last year, including models under its Arcfox, Beijing and Foton brands, and also under its Beijing Benz Automotive Company and Beijing Hyundai joint ventures.