BEIJING, March 1 (Xinhua) -- China established a national center for new energy vehicles Thursday to coordinate the development of the industry.
The National New Energy Vehicle Technology Innovation Center was unveiled in Beijing by the Ministry of Science and Technology and Beijing municipal government.
Participants of the center are 21 of China's leading NEV manufacturers and R&D institutions, including Beijing's BAIC Group, Geely, BYD, Baidu, Tsinghua University.
China has only two national technology innovation centers, one for new energy vehicles and another for high-speed rail.
"Internet technology and the new energy vehicle industry are merging in development. The production, sales and the way of using new energy vehicles are evolving rapidly. We need to advance innovation in these industries and provide strong policy impetus," said Wan Gang, minister of Science and Technology.
Chen Jining, mayor of Beijing, said the center was expected to elevate China's global competitiveness in the industry.
The center will get funding from the ministry and Beijing municipal government.
New energy vehicles refer to vehicles powered by non-traditional fuel, for example, electric and hybrid vehicles. China's new energy vehicle market recorded another year of rapid growth in 2017 as the government continued its strong push for green transport.
A total of 777,000 new energy vehicles were sold in the Chinese market last year, up 53.3 percent year on year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).
New energy vehicle output jumped 53.8 percent to 794,000 units last year, according to CAAM. The stock of new energy vehicles is the world's largest, with 1.53 million by the end of 2017.