Great Wall plans for big fuel-cell vehicle push, to debut its first hydrogen-powered SUV model later this year –

Electrification may be the rage, but automakers aren’t forgetting the alternative called the hydrogen fuel-cell. Great Wall is one of them. The Chinese carmaker has outlined plans to become a major fuel-cell vehicle player globally, and said it would be introducing its first hydrogen fuel-cell SUV later this year.

The announcement of the unspecified model – which will make its way into the market alongside a fleet of 100 hydrogen-powered heavy trucks – was made at an event earlier this week, Reuters reports. According to Great Wall chairman Wei Jianjun, the company is set to invest three billion yuan (RM1.9 billion) in hydrogen-related technologies over the next three years to push things along.

He added that the plan to move into hydrogen was decided around five years ago, and is being encouraged by the shrinking cost of solar power. It is also aided by supportive policies for FCVs that were introduced by the Chinese government last year.

Despite the foray into hydrogen, the automaker remains committed to electrification. It currently has the affordable Ora electric brand and is also building an EV factory with BMW in China, and Wei said Great Wall would have a battery manufacturing capacity of at least 200 gigawatt-hours (GWh) in 2023. The company is also reportedly set to collaborate with Xiaomi to build the latter’s EVs.

At the event, Wei also revealed upcoming plans for the company’s Wey and Tank sub-brands. He said that eight new models are being planned under the Wey marque to compete against the likes of Toyota and Volkswagen, while the newly-launched Tank brand will see the debut of five models. He however did not offer a timeframe for their introduction.

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