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Auto Guangzhou spotlight focused on NEVs

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Chinese and global manufacturers unveil latest designs and technologies

New energy vehicles are hogging the limelight at the ongoing Auto Guangzhou exhibition — testimony to how rapidly Chinese and international automakers are embracing electrification.

As China’s last major car show of the year, Auto Guangzhou has attracted a stellar list of global manufacturers, ranging from BMW and Mercedes-Benz to Bentley and Lamborghini, along with local Chinese giants and startups.

Of the 1,132 vehicles on display at the 10-day show that runs to Sunday, 469 — 41.4 percent — are new energy models. A total of 59 are making their debut on the global stage in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, along with 20 concept vehicles.

Local Chinese brands were underdogs in the age of gasoline vehicles, but homegrown NEVs and more ambitious strategies are now leveling the playing field for domestic manufacturers. According to Auto Guangzhou’s organizing committee, of the 469 NEVs on display, only 119 are foreign-built.

China’s NEV manufacturers don’t excel only in numbers. At least three domestic marques — GAC Aion, SAIC MG and Dongfeng eπ, or ePi — are showcasing scissor-door or gull-wing-door designs that previously were only seen on models bearing super luxury brands like McLaren or Lamborghini.

Zeekr, the premium electric marque of Geely, unveiled its first sedan, the 007, on Friday. Its all-wheel-drive version goes from 0-100 kilometers per hour in 2.84 seconds, the fastest in its class. With Tesla’s Model 3 and Xpeng G7 as its main rivals, the 007 received 5,000 orders in the first 30 minutes of presales.

Huawei has made plain its ambition to become deeply involved in the smart car market, with models including the AITO M9 and Luxeed S7 shown at the booth of HIMA, which stands for Harmony Intelligent Mobility Alliance. The Luxeed S7, a collaboration between Huawei and Chery, has an exterior designed by Huawei and sports the technology company’s Harmony operating system and 800-volt battery platform.

Meanwhile, Chery is showcasing 16 NEV models at its booth, where Zhang Guozhong, executive-vice president of the Anhui province-based company, said its goal is to join the ranks of China’s top NEV makers. Some of the models on display are the new Fengyun hybrids. Thanks to C-DM (Chery Dual Mode) technology, the Fengyun models have fuel consumption standing at around 4.2 liters per 100 km.

They have an electric range of up to 200 km, which extends their overall mileage to more than 1,400 km. Over the next two years, Chery will launch 11 hybrids bearing the Fengyun logo.

Another Chinese automaker, Dongfeng, has for the first time brought together its three NEV marques — Aeolus, eπ and Nammi — to the public since the State-owned company released its NEV plan in August.

According to Dongfeng, Aeolus offers both gasoline and NEV models, Nammi focuses on pure electric vehicles and eπ produces and sells both electric and range-extender models. Targeting the mainstream market, eπ will launch more than 10 models in the next three years.

International brands at Auto Guangzhou are offering a balanced mix of gasoline cars and NEVs.

BMW’s booth features a number of heavyweight models, including its long-wheelbase 5 Series, the X2 and the electric i5.

BMW sold 78,568 electric vehicles in China from January to October, up 211 percent year-on-year.

Volkswagen, which is the most popular international brand in China, is presenting 25 models at the show, including its electric ID. series and gasoline-powered Touareg and Teramont SUVs. Volkswagen is by far the most successful foreign car marque in China’s NEV market, with sales of its ID. series exceeding 20,000 units in October, thanks primarily to its ID. 3 hatchback.

Volkswagen’s lineup will soon include the ID. 7 VIZZION, a mid-size sedan to be produced at FAW-Volkswagen, and the ID. NEXT, which is a near-production concept car and will be produced at SAIC Volkswagen.

Stefan Mecha, CEO of Volkswagen China Passenger Cars Brand, said: “To better respond to the rapid dynamics and evolving demands in China, we are accelerating at ‘China Speed’.” He predicted NEVs will account for half of new car sales in China in 2025 and the figure will rise to 70 percent in 2030.

Meanwhile, General Motors is showcasing 48 models bearing the Cadillac, Buick and Chevrolet marques. The Cadillac Optiq and Buick’s Electra E5 are among NEVs built on GM’s Ultium platform.

Cadillac said it will launch three new electric models in 2024, while SAIC GM, GM’s Chinese joint venture, said its NEV sales from January to October totaled nearly 70,000 units.

Source(s): China Daily

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UN adopts first global artificial intelligence resolution to ensure AI is safe

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The United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the first global resolution on artificial intelligence on Thursday, encouraging countries to safeguard human rights, protect personal data, and monitor AI for risks.

The nonbinding resolution, proposed by the United States and co-sponsored by China along with over 120 other nations, also advocates for the strengthening of privacy policies.

“Today, all 193 members of the United Nations General Assembly have spoken in one voice, and together, chosen to govern artificial intelligence rather than let it govern us,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said.

The resolution is the latest in a series of initiatives – few of which carry significant enforceability – by governments around the world to shape AI’s development amid fears it could disrupt democratic processes, turbocharge fraud, or lead to dramatic job losses, among other harms.

“The improper or malicious design, development, deployment and use of artificial intelligence systems … pose risks that could … undercut the protection, promotion and enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms,” the measure states.

In November, the U.S., Britain and more than a dozen other countries unveiled the first detailed international agreement on how to keep artificial intelligence safe from rogue actors, pushing for companies to create AI systems that are “secure by design.”

Europe is ahead of the United States, with EU lawmakers adopting a provisional agreement this month to oversee the technology. The Biden administration has been pressing lawmakers for AI regulation, but a polarized U.S. Congress has made little headway. In the meantime, the White House sought to reduce AI risks to consumers, workers, and minorities while also bolstering national security with a new executive order in October.

The resolution aims to close the digital divide between rich developed countries and poorer developing countries to ensure that all are included in discussions on AI. It also aims to ensure that developing countries have the technology and capabilities to take advantage of AI’s benefits, including detecting diseases, predicting floods, helping farmers, and training the next generation of workers.

The resolution recognizes the rapid acceleration of AI development and use and stresses “the urgency of achieving global consensus on safe, secure and trustworthy artificial intelligence systems.”

It also acknowledges that “the governance of artificial intelligence systems is an evolving area” that requires further discussions on possible governance approaches and emphasizes that innovation and regulation are mutually reinforcing – not mutually exclusive.

Source(s): CGTN

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Beijing still tops Nature Index global science city rankings

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Beijing has consistently ranked first in the global science city rankings for eight consecutive years, as measured by the Nature Index, according to Yin Yong, deputy secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Beijing Municipal Committee and mayor of Beijing.

Nature Index tracks the authorship of articles in prestigious research journals and Beijing’s ranking has shown that the city remains the top science city in the world.

On Tuesday, China’s State Council Information Office held a press conference on leveraging Beijing’s strategic role as the national capital, initiating a new chapter in high-quality development. Yin made the remarks while he answered questions from the media at the press conference.

Yin also introduced the capital’s achievement in seeking scientific and technological innovation and attracting high-level talent in science and technology.

Beijing has 92 colleges and universities, and more than 1,000 research institutes and its numbers of national laboratories and large scientific installations are ranked first in the country.

Beijing’s investment in research and development has also been among the largest in the country. Every 10,000 people in Beijing hold an average of over 262 invention patents, ranking first in China.

The capital has a large talent pool with more than 550,000 scientific researchers. In the field of artificial intelligence, for instance, Beijing’s top talent accounts for about 43 percent of the country’s total.

An average of 337 technology-based enterprises are established in Beijing every day, and the number of national high-tech enterprises and unicorn enterprises rank first among all cities in the country.

Source(s): CGTN

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Newly operated Hydro-floating solar project showcases China-Thailand cooperation in clean energy

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KHON KAEN, Thailand, March 5 (Xinhua) — A hydro-floating solar project jointly built by Chinese and Thai companies started commercial operation on Tuesday to support Thailand’s development of clean energy.

The Ubolratana Dam hydro-floating solar hybrid power plant, located in Thailand’s northeastern Khon Kaen province, integrates floating solar panels, clean hydropower, high-efficiency energy storage systems, and smart energy management systems, according to Dongfang Electric International Corporation, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of power-generating equipment that built the project with its Thai partner.

Jiraporn Sirikum, deputy governor of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), said building floating solar hybrid power plants is an important step toward the clean energy production and power stability of Thailand, praising the Chinese and the Thai companies for being able to deliver the project ahead of schedule.

“This showed a serious commitment to promoting clean energy in Thailand. We sincerely hope that the floating solar will help to promote clean energy for the community economy and local society,” Jiraporn told a commercial operation launching ceremony.

Liu Hongmei, Chinese Consul General in Khon Kaen, said she believed that the project’s commercial operation would bring greater well-being to the people of Northeast Thailand and mark a new milestone for Chinese enterprise investment in the region.

The Ubolratana Dam hydro-floating solar hybrid power plant is its second such hydro-floating solar project, said EGAT, which aims to build more such projects nationwide to promote clean energy.

Source(s): Xinhua

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