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First Automobile Works – Aggressive Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Manufacturer to China’s Market

By • Aug 19th, 2009 • Category: Clean Car Talk Posts

FAW logoEditor’s note: This is part of a series of articles peeking into clean car industries and car manufacturers of China, India, South Korea and Germany. Please send comments and suggestions using our Contact page or by leaving a comment at the end of this article.

China FAW Group Corporation is currently billed as the number one automobile maker in China, and is also one of the oldest in the industry, dating back to 1953. FAW Group, or more commonly know as simply FAW, has a wide-ranging base of products, from passenger cars, mini (utility) vehicles, sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and pickup trucks, to commercial trucks, buses and coaches.

FAW also makes components and parts such as wheel rims, truck axles, engine parts and pumps. In recent years, FAW also entered several joint ventures with Toyota and other manufacturers in other countries such as Russia. In fact, its joint venture with Toyota became the reason for the existence of the Toyota Prius. Toyota also produced the Vios and Corolla models through a partnership with FAW’s Tianjin unit. Aside from that, FAW also worked with Volkswagen AG and came up with a high-tech production facility that produces large numbers of cars every year. The company has now grown to become the China FAW Group Corporation from its humble beginnings as a truck maker, and from 1953 up to the present, it has remained at the forefront of China’s car industry. Until now, it maintains its truck market but has expanded and is offering high-quality cars to other markets as well.

Another market that First Automobile Works is currently tapping is the clean car market. The industry has yet to grow, but First Automobile Works is working hard to achieve its goals in the clean car segment. Aside from its continuous efforts in improving sales and production of its current market offerings, the company is also paying attention to the production and development of hybrid cars.

FAW and Toyota Collaboration

One of the most popular and significant advancements in the clean car industry is the Toyota Prius, a heavily marketed hybrid car produced by Toyota in collaboration with FAW. Produced a few years back, the Prius was released in China after Toyota and FAW entered a 50-50 partnership venture. The Prius is a 1.5L vehicle and consumes 40.5% less fuel than the 1.6L gasoline vehicle Toyota Corolla. Recently Toyota announced that its latest generation Toyota Prius will start selling in China in 2010. Despite the Prius’ relatively high price tag (up to 280,000 yuan or US$41,000,) Toyota has reason to be optimistic with expected consumer incentives by China’s central government to spur sales of clean cars including electric and hybrids. Source:

China’s automobile industry is very ripe for the introduction of hybrid cars. With the Chinese government wholly supportive and with the subsidies being offered to taxi fleets as well as tax benefits offered to consumers who patronize clean cars, car manufacturers such as FAW and Toyota recognize that there is no better time to introduce hybrid cars to the Chinese market than now. These efforts to further the development of clean cars aim to reduce pollution and relieve oil shortage problems being experienced not just in China but all over the world. Nonetheless, the Toyota and FAW partnership is also planning to release about 400,000 compact, medium, and high-end buses and sedans by the year 2010 to the Chinese market.

More hybrid cars are being planned for release under FAW brand. In fact, the entire FAW Group is expected to release around 1,600 hybrid cars before the year 2012 ends. During the same timeframe, the company is hoping to produce 800 hybrid buses. Most of the hybrid cars are planned to have hybrid engine technologies sourced from Japan’s top car makers. Its hybrid vehicle products produced together with Toyota are expected to hit the global market since Toyota aims to distribute said products globally. These upcoming clean cars will be produced at a special hybrid car facility. FAW has also shown its determination to see the said project through to the end by increasing its investments. There is surely a lot to wait for from FAW.

CA6100SH8 Hybrid Coach

Since the early 1990s, many global bus chassis manufacturers followed FAW’s lead by making large investments toward the research and development of commercially viable hybrid-powered bus platform. With a strong code of environmental responsibility, FAW gave priority status to the development of new cutting edge hybrid bus chassis in early 2002 that could both lower vehicle emissions and increase fuel economy.

Envisioning the potential of FAW’s new technology, the project received full support from China’s central government, who has taken an aggressive stance within the current 5 year national development plan to reduce both emissions and fuel consumption nationwide. Through the joint efforts of FAW Group’s R & D Center and FAW Bus & Coach Company, two prototype hybrid-powered buses were completed by the Wuxi division of FAW Bus & Coach on Dec. 10, 2005.

City Bus, CA6100SH8 Hybrid CoachThe factory is now set to begin mass production of the new hybrid CA6100SH8 municipal transit bus, designed for today’s increasingly popular BRT systems (bus rapid transit) and traditional inner city mass transit. This revolutionary new model with 10 proprietary patents delivers a fuel economy increase of 38% and an emissions reduction of 30%, compared to traditional buses. With a Euro 3 emissions rating, the new 80kW parallel hybrid drive system is scheduled for Euro 4 certification by late 2006.

At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, twenty of these CA6100SH8 hybrid bus, called hybrid “City Bus,” successfully completed field trials on real passenger routes within the Olympic sector. The “City Bus” hybrid buses employed Enova Systems’ pre-transmission hybrid drive systems, and “exceeded all expectations” according to Liu Minghue, the Executive Director of Engineering for the FAW hybrid-electric transit bus trial.

Jiefang CA6120URH hybrid bus

This month Enova confirmed that it has delivered the first seventy (70) pre-transmission hybrid drive systems to First Auto Works. FAW has ordered an additional one hundred-fifty (150) hybrid drive systems for delivery in 2009. The Enova drive system will be integrated and branded in FAW buses under the name of Jiefang CA6120URH hybrid. The Jiefang 12 meter (40 foot) low floor hybrid bus can carry 103 passengers and travel at a maximum speed of 85 kilometers an hour (km/h) or 53 miles per hour (mph.) The bus meets Euro III emission standards. It will consume only 30 liters of fuel every 100 kilometers (equivalent to 7.84 miles per gallon) and discharge 20 percent less emissions.

According to a report on, the municipal government of Dalian has ordered 150 of the Jiefang hybrid buses. Fifty of them will be running in the city during the Summer Davos event, which is the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2009, conducted by the World Economic Forum from 10-12 September, 2009. In October, another 100 Jiefang hybrid power buses will go into use in Changchun city, capital of northeast China’s Jilin province.

Groundbreaking For New Hyrbid Bus Plant in Dalian

To keep up with China’s central government’s goal of 500,000 electric and hybrid vehicles over the next hew years, FAW Group Corporation held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new-energy bus plant at Dalian Economic & Technological Development Zone on June 5. Attendees to the ceremony included officials from Dalian city, President Xu Jianyi of FAW Group and Vice President Qin Huanming of FAW Group.

Construction of the new production base of the new-energy vehicle is one of the important parts of FAW Group’s development plan. The new plant is scheduled finishing construction in July 2010. The plant’s annual production capacity is planned to reach 3,000 units including 1,500 hybrid buses before the year of 2013.

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is a marketing communications consultant working in the San Diego area. Cuong is dedicated to helping individuals and companies maximize their presence on the Internet and efficiently take products and services to market through SEO and network marketing. Cuong also maintains a blog on Marketing at You can also find Cuong Huynh's profile on LinkedIn. For fun he maintains a blog on Vietnamese pho, soccer and do storyboards for movie and film projects. Follow Cuong on Twitter @CuongHuynh, @LovingPho, @CleanCarTalk, @BlockbusterFilm, @SoccerUSA.
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3 Responses »

  1. You do not report on the FAW collaboration wih Thunder Sky’s leading electric batteries for full electric busses. Do you have information on this? From my information these batteries out perform all other batteries in the market.

  2. John, I do not have any more information on the FAW/TS collaboration, other than what’s noted on their own website . The specs of the TS batteries look quite good. I’d appreciate if you can share some other info that you may have.

  3. Hi ! Friends ,
    First of all I would like to congratulate to whole the team for wonderful success in ‘ Hybrid ‘
    bus technology . Being a bus designer I really appreciate it . …. Saves Fuel and reduces emission .
    I wish you all a very bright and successful future .
    Regards ,
    Ashok Kalsi ,
    General Manager ,
    Design & Development ,
    Mobile no. 09357231310 .