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chinese electric car start-up singulato motors will announce this week it has raised some $600 million in a second phase of fundraising–the latest move illustrating china’s investment into all-electric battery vehicles. chinese electric car start-ups are raising new funds with ease from government subsidies; and favorable policies. these can total around 110,000 yuan ($16,285) a car; or around one third of the sticker price of an electric car, representing a large percentage of the overall vehicle cost.
china has prioritized developing smart, connected electric vehicles. beijing views the sector as a way for its automotive industry to challenge global automakers, several of which have focused more on cleaning the existing hydrogen fuel-cell propulsion technology.
shen haiyin, singulato’s 42 year old co-founding CEO, says his company has raised some $700 million in total. most of it came from an investment fund run by the municipal government of tongling city, in anhui province, as part of a ‘strategic partnership’.
tongling city mayor, ni duping, says the decision to invest in singulato is part of a larger strategy to promote the new energy automotive industry. ‘we believe this effort will definitely allow tongling to accelerate the city’s industry transformation,’ he comments.
the company plans to heavily invest in technology and build a state-of-the-art electric vehicle (EV) production plant in tongling capable of making 200,000 cars a year, by around 2020. with 140 employees, singulato motors plans to introduce its first product, a crossover SUV, by late next year; or early 2018. production will be outsourced to an existing automaker with excess manufacturing capacity.
we’re targeting our EVs at young city dwellers in beijing, shanghai, shenzhen and other large cities where buying a gasoline car is becoming more difficult because of purchase restrictions imposed by the government,’ shen comments. he continues, ‘if they buy an EV, they could buy a car immediately as EVs are exempt from purchase restrictions. tech-savvy young people are naturally going to gravitate toward EVs.’
more chinese cities are restricting new vehicle purchases as the battle with road congestion and air pollution continues. in beijing, drivers of gasoline cars are banned from driving on one weekday per week. all-electric battery vehicles; and heavily electrified plug-in hybrids, are usually exempt.
approximately 290 000 ‘new energy’ vehicles, including all-electric battery; and plug-in electric vehicles, were sold in china between january–september. annual sales are likely to fall short of a 700 000 projection, according to the china association of automobile manufacturers.
singulato motors is an innovative internet company, established in december 2014. the company’s business scope covers the new energy vehicles; intelligent vehicle systems, based on big data and, the cloud car networking services and solutions; investment products; and other innovative technologies.