BAIC C71 EV – Click above for high-res image gallery
Late last year, Chinese automaker BAIC and General Motors struck up a $200 million deal that granted BAIC access to the previous-generation Saab 9-5 platform and the pre-2006 Saab 9-3. The Chinese carmaker worked its electric magic on the 9-5 and called the finished product the C71 EV concept; a battery-swap capable sedan with a claimed 93-mile range. By the end of 2011, the electrified C71 will move into production, but BAIC's battery-powered dreams extend beyond this single model.
BAIC will roll out 30 of its C60 electric cars later this year and, by the end of 2011, the automaker wants to have 3,500 units tooling around on the roads of China. BAIC's battery-powered vehicle production numbers for 2011 break down like this: The C60FB, which uses the Saab 9-3 platform, will account for 800 of the 3,500 electric autos introduced next year. The C301, based on the automaker's C30 model, will hit 1,200 units and the remaining 1,500 vehicles will be the M30 RB electric minivan. BAIC is China's fifth-largest automaker and hopes to eventually launch electric versions of its C-, B-, A+-, A- and A0-class models but, as is oftentimes the case in the automotive world, plans don't always come to fruition, so we'll keep an eye out for more details.