- Government-backed Chinese businesses are investing in alternate energy
- Beiqi Foton Motor, a truck and bus manufacture, will invest $2.6billion
- The company wants 200,000 ‘new energy’ trucks and buses on the road in 2025
The Chinese truck manufacturer Beiqi Foton Motor has announced an ambitious new plan to manufacture 200,000 ‘new energy’ commercial vehicles by 2025.
The company’s chairman, Zhang Xiyong, said the company would develop a range of alternate energy technologies as part of the initiative, including electric, hydrogen fuel cells, and hybrid gas-electric.
The project will initially be limited to commercial vehicles like delivery trucks, vans, buses and other large vehicles.
Beiqi Foton is expected to invest as much as $2.6billion, or 18billion yuan, for the project, according to a report from Reuters.
Earlier this year, Foton announced an agreement with Toyota and Beijing Yihuatong Technology to develop a 100 kilowatt hydrogen fuel cell engine that the company said would be able to power a range of heavy vehicles, including buses and trucks.
Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles generate power by combining hydrogen with oxygen in stacked fuel cells, with the only byproduct being water.
Hydrogen fuel cell cars can be refueled much more quickly than electric cars and can travel farther between fill-up, but fueling stations can be expensive to build, costing $2 million or more.
Earlier this year, the French transportation company Alstom announced a prototype for a train powered by hydrogen fuel cells, capable of traveling 620 miles on a single tank of hydrogen.
The Chinese government has made aggressive moves toward transitioning the country away from fossil fuels over the past few years.
In 2018, the government announced a policy requiring all car manufacturers in the country to produce a certain percentage of their yearly output as electric vehicles.
Some have predicted this could rise as high as seven percent by 2025.
Toyota recently announced a partnership with Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group to develop hydrogen fuel cell engines for standard consumer cars, part of its attempt to expand its business in China.