Start-up China's EVs

Start-up China's EVs

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Electric car start-ups are getting real traction in China. Xiaopeng Motors, which is aiming to build a Chinese Telsa, has just picked up a cool $348m in funding in a finance round led by online retail giant Alibaba and chip maker Foxconn.

The news follows recent moves by start-up Byton to seek $400m in funding for its $45k electric SUV. The company is looking to invest $1.7bn in a Nanjing plant in the city which is slated for completion before the year-end with capacity for 150,000 vehicles a year.

Xiaopeng’s first production model, the G3, is expected to carry a $47,000 price tag when it hits showrooms later this year. Tesla’s Model X comes in at around $117,500 in China.

Xiaopeng says it aims to be delivering as many as five EV models within five years – tagging them ‘Internet cars with autonomous driving and Internet accessibility’ – and has a revenue target of CNY16bn.

Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings is also an electro-mobility believer. In December it invested in electric vehicle developer WM Motor, having already provided financing for rival EV start-up NIO.

WM Motor has debuted its first mass production car the EX5, an electric SUV, while NIO has rolled out the ES8 SUV  which comes in at $68,000 without incentives.

Image: Xiaopeng

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