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By Norihiko Shirouzu
SHANGHAI/BEIJING, June 5 (Reuters) - General Motors Co is accelerating the pace of electric vehicle (EV) launches in China as policymakers in the world's biggest auto market continue to promote EVs as an alternative to gasoline cars.
Matt Tsien, head of GM's China operations, said in Shanghai on Tuesday the U.S. automaker plans to launch 10 heavily electrified vehicle models in China from 2021 through 2023, adding to the 10 it has already planned for 2016 through 2020.
"Clearly, we have a strategy in place and there is an implementation in place to do that," Tsien told a small group of reporters, referring to GM's new-energy vehicles being developed and deployed by its two joint ventures in the China marketplace.
The acceleration of electric car launches by the Detroit automaker comes as stringent new energy vehicle production quotas are to take effect in China next year.
Those quotas, to be made more stringent over time, have prompted a flurry of electric car deals and new launches of battery-electric and plug-in hybrid models as automakers in China race to ensure they do not fall short.
In April, China's state planner said it would remove foreign ownership caps for companies making fully electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in 2018, for makers of commercial vehicles in 2020, and the wider car market by 2022.
GM's Tsien on Tuesday said the company does not plan to take advantage of the easing of those ownership restrictions.
GM plans to continue to work through its current joint ventures with local Chinese automakers to design and develop new-energy vehicles for the Chinese market, he told reporters.
New energy vehicles in China largely refer to all-electric battery cars, plug-in electric hybrids, as well hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. (Reporting by Shanghai newsroom and Norihiko Shirouzu in Beijing; Editing by Michael Perry)