SAIC, China's largest home-market automaker, has just announced via a filing with the Shanghai Stock Exchange that it's entering into a joint venture to develop hybrid and electric vehicles. The project calls for a $300 million investment up-front, proving once again that green tech can be expensive. Technologies like electric vehicle transmissions and drivetrains will go through the research and development stages at the new company before going into production. SAIC is already partnered up with General Motors in China and has recently launched the Buick LaCrosse hybrid, its first locally-produced car with the fuel-saving technology. The Shanghai Buick uses the same GM Belt-Alternator Starter hybrid system (BAS) that we see in the US from the Chevy Malibu hybrid and Saturn Aura hybrid, cars that share the Buick's underpinnings. Environmental problems in China, especially regarding the air quality of its largest cities, have prompted the government to push for more fuel efficient vehicles.

[Source: Inside Line]

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