BAIC has opened its second overseas electric vehicle R&D facility, the BAIC EV – Meta New Energy Vehicle Aachen R&D Center in Germany. This facility will complement the company’s new Silicon Valley facility and will focus on the development of electric powertrain components.
Unlike the Silicon Valley R&D center, which focuses on the development of electric vehicle structures, batteries and infotainment systems, the Aachen R&D center will be focused on overcoming the primary consumer objection to electric drivetrains, range. BAIC will be working with Meta Motoren und Energie-Technik in this regard, an Aachen-based drivetrain development company that BAIC recently acquired a 45% stake in. Meta’s contribution to this enterprise will center on the development of range-extending combustion engines and the electronic control systems needed for their useful integration.
Meta’s own unique capabilities will play a crucial role in this process. As a specialist in internal combustion development, Meta has the wherewithal to engage in conceptual design, rapid prototyping, advanced modeling, analysis of competitor product, sample manufacturing, testing, and the development of integrating software control systems. The company currently employs around 100 employees, with future local hiring likely to scale up as the partnership with BAIC yields greater demands for local technical talent.
“BAIC EV has taken a leading role in the Chinese electric vehicle market and we have already developed models that have proven popular among customers. In the future, charging batteries with range- extending motors will provide the capacity for longer overall vehicle range,” commented Mr. Xu Heyi, chairman of both BAIC Group and BAIC EV.
October 2, 2015