General Motors agreed in Shanghai today to develop an electric vehicle with long-time Chinese partner SAIC.
The deal came as the Chinese government is pushing foreign automakers to give Chinese companies EV technology they lack, according to an Associated Press report.
Details of the plan were not provided, and GM has denied it will involve handing over intellectual property underlying the Volt. U.S. lawmakers have complained that China is “shaking down” GM to get Volt secrets.
GM plans to start export Michigan-made Volts to China by year-end, but isn’t likely to sell many. The Chinese government is pushing electrics with a subsidy that amounts to about $19,000 per car — but only if the car is made in Chine. No imports allowed.