Piss off, American taxpayer.
(USA Today) — General Motors agreed in Shanghai today to develop an electric vehicle platform with longtime Chinese partner SAIC. It effectively moves GM’s future electric vehicle development to China. Unclear is whether this would also lead to assembly of future EVs for the U.S. market in China.
The deal came as the Chinese government is pushing foreign automakers to give Chinese companies EV technology they lack, according to an Associated Press report. U.S. lawmakers have complained that China is “shaking down” GM to get Volt secrets. Electric vehicle development in the U.S. has been developed with extensive U.S. taxpayer funding.
Details of the plan were not provided, and GM has denied it will involve handing over intellectual property underlying the Volt.
GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky, in a conference call from Shanghai, said that neither SAIC nor the Chinese government have demanded Volt technology. Any future EV would, of course, draw on GM’s Volt experience and technology. Under the deal, SAIC and GM will equally share the cost of developing a new all-electric vehicle, Girsky said.
GM plans to start exporting Michigan-made Volts to China by year’s end, but isn’t likely to sell many. The Chinese government is pushing electrics with a subsidy that amounts to about $19,000 per car — but only if the car is made in China. No imports allowed. There also are tariffs on cars imported to China, which lawmakers argue are unfair and may violateworld trade rules.
Girsky hinted that the Volt could eventually be built in China. “If we localize, eventually it won’t have a tariff and it will get the subsidy. We have made no decision on if, when or where we build Volt in the future.”