September 23, 2020

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    Chinese automakers have announced plans to boost sales of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, a niche sector in the world’s biggest auto market, and the government is expected to declare supportive new policies, most likely as early as this month.

    SAIC Motor, China’s biggest automaker which has joint ventures with Volkswagen and General Motors, said on Sunday it plans to sell more than 10,000 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2025.

    Commercial automaker Beiqi Foton, a BAIC‘s unit, said last week it intends to sell 4,000 hydrogen vehicles by 2023, and 15,000 such vehicles by 2025.

    The announcements came after a finance ministry official said before in September that the country will present a new package of policies to support hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

    China now only has a fleet of more than 7,000 hydrogen vehicles, compared with over 4 million pure battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

    Existing policies to support electric vehicles offer subsidies on sales. But new supportive policies will need local city governments and companies to build up a more mature supply chain and business model for the industry.

    Three industry sources knowledgeable with policy discussions said officials could announce a new policy as early as this month.

    Pilot cities will likely include Beijing, Shanghai, together with those in northern Shanxi and eastern Jiangsu provinces, according to sources, who refused to be named as the issue is not public.

    Some global automakers such as Toyota Motor to Hyundai Motor have already announced plans for hydrogen vehicles in China.

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