General Motors has announced today that it plans to build hybrid-electric cars in China by 2008 at one of its plants in Shanghai. GM will be working in a joint venture with the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp to build a new cost effective and highly flexible hybrid system that was co-developed with DaimlerChrysler and BMW.

There’s been no mention of what car will be produced, but GM did parade several hybrid vehicles including the Saturn Vue plus its Chevrolet Sequel hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle that was rolled out for test drives in the US last month. GM is still adamant in its belief that fuel cells are the most viable green technology. CEO Rick Wagoner stated that “fuel cell vehicles offer the best long-term solution for meeting the world’s growing demand for automobiles in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner.”

The only problem is that fuel cell vehicles lack the infrastructure to make it a viable option. Further, it’s estimated that hydrogen refuelling stations could take decades and billions of dollars to build. The world's best selling hybrid manufacturer, Toyota, already started building its popular Prius in China at the end of last year, so GM is once again late to the table.