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Ford Motor Company has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Anhui Zotye Automobile, a major manufacturer of zero-emission all-electric vehicles in China.
The U.S. headquartered carmaker said the goal of the MoU is to explore the establishment of a joint venture for the development, production, marketing and servicing of a new line of all-electric passenger vehicles in China. The strategy is said to be consistent with Ford’s vision for a more sustainable auto industry, as well as efforts to contribute to societal goals of improving air quality and addressing climate change.
China is considered the fastest-growing market in the world for new energy vehicles (NEVs) and Ford expects this segment to grow to six million units per year by 2025 in the country, of which approximately four million vehicles will be all-electric.
Zotye Auto is a pioneer in the Chinese all-electric vehicle segment and was one of the first automakers to produce all-electric passenger vehicles in the country. It is the market leader in China’s all-electric small vehicle segment. Zotye says it sold over 16,000 all-electric vehicles through July this year, representing a growth of 56% year-over-year.
The vehicles produced under the joint venture would be sold under an indigenous brand and would aim to capture a sizeable share of China’s all-electric passenger vehicle market. Additional details are to be announced at a later date, pending a final definitive agreement and regulatory approvals.