The Chinese government announced the establishment of the National New Energy Vehicle Technology Innovation Centre (NNEVTIC) this week to help drive growth in the country's new energy vehicle (NEV) industry in the coming years.

Sales of NEVs, comprising mainly electric and hybrid vehicles, are forecast to increase to around 1m units this year from 777,000 units in 2017.

Government mandated minimum sales quotas are scheduled to come into effect in 2019 which are expected to drive annual sales up to 2m units by 2020 and to 20% of total vehicle sales in the country by 2025.

The new industry body, launched in Beijing by the ministry of science and technology and the Beijing municipal government, will help develop policy and standards in the NEV segment as well as coordinate and steer technology developments and innovations among vehicle manufacturers. 

The body already has 21 members, including vehicle manufacturers such as BAIC Group, Geely and BYD, technology companies such as Baidu and research and development institutions such as Tsinghua University.

The NNEVTIC, which will be partly government funded, is expected to help raise the country's global competitiveness in the new energy vehicle segment, with internet connectivity also a major area of focus.

China's only other national technology innovation centre was set up to develop high speed rail transportation.

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