One of China’s largest automakers – BAIC Motor – has opened a research and development facility in California.
BAIC said the move is part of the company’s plans to establish a global presence. As part of this extension, the company will also open a research and development facility in Europe at a later, undisclosed date.
New partnerships have also arisen under the move. BAIC said that the California facility will support collaborations with Beijing New Engineering Research Institute, Siemens AG, SK Group and Italian prototype builder CECOMP SpA. And one of the new connections is a local startup: Atieva, which develops technology for electric vehicles, is based out of Menlo Park.
“With the aid of its partners,” reported Automotive News, “BAIC plans to develop a family of three electric cars with a maximum range of 124 up to 248 miles. The company will showcase a new model at the 2016 Beijing auto show.”
A staff of 20 is working out of BAIC’s new center, focusing on electric vehicles and batteries, among other projects.
In the next five years BAIC said it wants to boost production of electric vehicles from this year’s estimated 12,400 (all of which will be sold in China) to 200,000 vehicles. Of this number, BAIC plans to sell 60,000 outside of China.