DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 15: Volkswagen BUDD-e Concept car is seen during Dubai Motor Show at Dubai World Trade Centre on November 15, 2017 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)
Volkswagen BUDD-e Concept electric car. VW plans major investment in China for clean-energy vehicles. Tom Dulat/Getty Images

VW to put €10bn into China electric cars push

Volkswagen will invest more than €10 billion (Dh45.25bn) with its partners to make and develop a range of new-energy vehicles in China as car makers step up investments in low-emission models in the world’s biggest auto market.

Volkswagen will make the investments by 2025 and introduce 40 locally produced vehicles, its China head Jochem Heizmann said in Guangzhou Thursday. The European car maker’s venture with Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group will start production of electric vehicles in the first half of next year, while sales will start in the second half.

The German manufacturer joins Ford Motor in boosting investments in electric vehicle development in China as the country will require most automakers to obtain a new-energy vehicle score linked to the production of various types of zero- and low-emission vehicles. Volkswagen in September announced sweeping plans to build electric versions of all 300 models in the 12-brand group’s line-up, vowing to spend €20bn by 2030 to roll out the cars and earmarked another €50bn to buy the batteries needed to power the vehicles.

In May, VW received green light from the government to set up a joint venture with the state owned Chinese automaker to make electric cars. The Wolfsburg, Germany-based company sold 2.5 million vehicles in China in the first 10 months. VW has previously said it plans to sell 400,000 units of new-energy vehicles a year by 2020 and increase that number to 1.5 million by 2025.

Last week, Ford said it will invest US$753 million with partner Anhui Zotye Automobile to make and sell small electric cars in China.

VW will introduce 15 models based on its MQB platform, which converts internal combustion engine cars into plug-in hybrid or pure electric versions, said Mr Heizmann. The rest of the models will be developed on new platforms, he said.


Read more:

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BMW said to eye possible electric vehicle joint venture in China

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In September, China unveiled a comprehensive set of emission rules and delayed a credit-score programme tied to the production of electric cars, giving manufacturers more time to prepare for the phasing out of fossil-fuel powered vehicles.

Under the so-called cap-and-trade policy, car makers must obtain a new-energy vehicle score - which is linked to the production of various types of zero- and low-emission vehicles - of at least 10 per cent starting in 2019, rising to 12 per cent in 2020, the ministry of industry and Information Technology said on its website.

“The new adjusted quota policy is really the right thing,” Mr Heizmann said.

By delaying the implementation year to 2019 and allowing car makers to combine credits in 2019 and 2020, it’s no longer a major challenge for VW to fulfill the demand, he said.

Electric cars will outsell fossil-fuel powered vehicles within two decades as battery prices plunge, turning the global car industry upside down and signalling economic turmoil for oil-exporting countries.

The Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecasts that adoption of emission-free vehicles will happen more quickly than previously estimated because the cost of building cars is falling fast.

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Western Region Asia Cup Qualifier, Al Amerat, Oman

The two finalists advance to the next stage of qualifying, in Malaysia in August


UAE beat Iran by 10 wickets

Kuwait beat Saudi Arabia by eight wickets

Oman beat Bahrain by nine wickets

Qatar beat Maldives by 106 runs

Monday fixtures

UAE v Kuwait, Iran v Saudi Arabia, Oman v Qatar, Maldives v Bahrain

What is Folia?

Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal's new plant-based menu will launch at Four Seasons hotels in Dubai this November. A desire to cater to people looking for clean, healthy meals beyond green salad is what inspired Prince Khaled and American celebrity chef Matthew Kenney to create Folia. The word means "from the leaves" in Latin, and the exclusive menu offers fine plant-based cuisine across Four Seasons properties in Los Angeles, Bahrain and, soon, Dubai.

Kenney specialises in vegan cuisine and is the founder of Plant Food + Wine and 20 other restaurants worldwide. "I’ve always appreciated Matthew’s work," says the Saudi royal. "He has a singular culinary talent and his approach to plant-based dining is prescient and unrivalled. I was a fan of his long before we established our professional relationship."

Folia first launched at The Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills in July 2018. It is available at the poolside Cabana Restaurant and for in-room dining across the property, as well as in its private event space. The food is vibrant and colourful, full of fresh dishes such as the hearts of palm ceviche with California fruit, vegetables and edible flowers; green hearb tacos filled with roasted squash and king oyster barbacoa; and a savoury coconut cream pie with macadamia crust.

In March 2019, the Folia menu reached Gulf shores, as it was introduced at the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, where it is served at the Bay View Lounge. Next, on Tuesday, November 1 – also known as World Vegan Day – it will come to the UAE, to the Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach and the Four Seasons DIFC, both properties Prince Khaled has spent "considerable time at and love". 

There are also plans to take Folia to several more locations throughout the Middle East and Europe.

While health-conscious diners will be attracted to the concept, Prince Khaled is careful to stress Folia is "not meant for a specific subset of customers. It is meant for everyone who wants a culinary experience without the negative impact that eating out so often comes with."

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Richard Flanagan
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