China’s state-owned Great Wall has opened up to science in Austria. Its planned R&D centre for EVs is now in operation and home to 100 new employees. They are to develop powertrains for electric and hybrid cars.
Great Wall had first introduced the plan to do research in the Austrian town of Kottingbrunn last September and has since progressed fast. The centre is now up to speed to accelerate the development of key components for electric vehicles.
The Chinese carmaker chose Austria for its pool of automotive engineers and their EV expertise and knowledge of new lightweight materials. For the start, the engineers will develop electric motors and related control systems for EVs at the centre, the company said.
Great Wall earmarked 20 million euros (157 million yuan) for the operation by 2020. Overall though, Great Wall plans to pour a total of 60bn yuan (about 7.6bn euros) into the development of new energy vehicles.
The new centre fits into this wider strategy in which the company plans to gain ground in EV territory. Just days ago, Great Wall launched the new EV sub brand Ora (we reported). On top, Great Wall’s premium arm Wey is expected to launch its first plug-in hybrid crossover in China this year.