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GM Plans Shanghai Research Center To Study Alternative Fuels

General Motors Corp. Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner has announced the first two major initiatives of its long-term strategy to support the Chinese government’s pursuit of energy-efficient and environmentally friendly transportation.

In separate news, Wagoner said that vehicle sales in China will likely exceed its target of 1 million units this year, up roughly 20 percent from last year, MarketWatch reports.

The first initiative is the establishment of the GM Center for Advanced Science and Research. The facility will be part of a new $250 million GM campus in Shanghai. The center will carry out advanced research projects in partnership with the Chinese government, industry partners and academic institutions.

The second initiative is the establishment of the China Automotive Energy Research Center, a collaborative effort with Beijing’s Tsinghua University and GM’s strategic partner in China, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. Group. CAERC will work with various stakeholders in government, academia and related industries to develop a comprehensive and integrated automotive energy strategy for China. GM and SAIC will jointly provide a five-year, $5 million grant to Tsinghua University to establish CAERC.

“The new GM Center for Advanced Science and Research will support China as it undertakes one of the most rapid technological transformations in world history,” Wagoner said. “It is designed to bring together various resources, including SAIC’s new Energy Unit, to accelerate research in the areas of energy-efficient and environmentally friendly automotive technologies, as well as alternative fuel pathways that are socially responsible, economically viable, environmentally sustainable, and technologically feasible.”

According to Wagoner, joint research and development will be focused on three main areas: alternative fuels, advanced alternative energy propulsion systems, and manufacturing and supplier energy efficiency.

GM and SAIC will jointly provide a $5 million grant over the next five years to Tsinghua University to establish the China Automotive Energy Research Center. Based in Beijing, CAERC will work with various organizations in government, academia, and related industries in China to develop a comprehensive and integrated energy strategy. Tsinghua University, SAIC and GM will share resources and personnel, and collaborate on numerous projects to develop a strategy for reducing China’s reliance on petroleum-based fuel. The common objective of the partners is to make the center China’s most advanced organization for automotive energy research and strategy development.

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