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China’s Geely to press on with methanol vehicles, chairman says

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group's Chairman Li Shufu attends Baidu's annual AI developers conference Baidu Create 2019, in Beijing. Photo: REUTERS

Company to continue biofuel plan – even though the effort may fail

Electricity may have to wait.

Geely has decided it will continue its methanol engine development programme. But there’s no guarantee it will work.

Chairman Li Shufu said the Zhejiang-based company will remain one of a small number of car makers to press on with its plans, including testing methanol taxis in some western Chinese cities as well as developing methanol-powered lorries.

Li said Geely, which owns Volvo Cars and 9.7% stake in Daimler AG, invested in Carbon Recycling International, an Icelandic company, to work on technologies to produce methanol with carbon dioxide, in a way to lower overall carbon emissions.

“We will keep exploring methanol vehicle technologies. Of course it might fail in the end, but currently we are still working on it,” Li told an industry conference in the western city of Chongqing, without elaborating.

Methanol fuel would boost China’s energy independence as the country has huge amounts of coal, which can be converted to methanol. Geely’s Li has also said he expects methanol vehicles to be cleaner than gasoline models.

Li did not offer details of the technology. He has told Reuters that Geely would expand production of methanol-powered vehicles.

Geely is also developing battery electric vehicles, petrol-electric hybrid cars and hydrogen commercial vehicles.

China, the world’s biggest auto market, is developing electric and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.

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  • Reporting by Reuters

Mark McCord

Mark McCord is a financial journalist with more than three decades experience writing and editing at global news wires including Bloomberg and AFP, as well as daily newspapers in Hong Kong, Sydney and Melbourne. He has covered some of the biggest breaking news events in recent years including the Enron scandal, the New York terrorist attacks and the Iraq War. He is based in the UK. You can tweet to Mark at @MarkMcC64371550.


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