Chinese Tesla rival announces $2.3 billion factory
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LeEco, the Chinese tech company that is partnering with Aston Martin to produce the RapidE EV, has announced itsplans to build a $2.3 billion factory for its upcoming LeeSee electric sedan.
The South China Morning Post reported this week that the company’s new manufacturing facility will be built in Deqing county, located in the Zhejiang province in China, which is just over two hours south-west of Shanghai by car.
LeEco is reported to be planning an “Eco Experience Park” project that will include a theme park, where visitors have access to LeEco vehicles and other content offered by the tech firm, including its sports content platform LeSports and Le Music streaming service.
The new factory will produce the company’s LeSee electric sedan, which was revealed earlier this year at the Beijing motor show. Aimed squarely at Tesla's Model S, the LeSee hopes to challenge the American EV’s growing customer base in the Chinese market.
Reports suggest the company is aiming to make the LeSee quicker than the its US rival and offer greater driving range – the Tesla Model S 90D offers a maximum distance of 557km on one charge from its 90kWh battery pack.
Annual output for the new facility is projected to be 400,000 units in 2018 – an even more ambitious target than Tesla's planned 500,000 vehicles by 2020 from its new Gigafactory.
Considering that’s just two years away, the company has a lot of work to do in the next 12-18 months, not only in bringing the LeeSee to the market but also having a manufacturing facility that is capable of essentially doubling China’s EV production within the next two years.
The Aston Martin RapidE EV
This is not the only major investment from LeEco which recently backed start-up company Faraday Future's US$1 billion factory that is being built in Las Vegas. Faraday Future also unveiled its 745kW FFZERO1 concept at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this January.
Additionally, LeEco has partnered with Aston Martin to produce the RapidE sedan, an all-electric version of the Rapide. The collaboration hopes to have the RapidE in production by 2018 – though no figures have been quoted for the British electric grand tourer.
- James Wong, caradvice.com.au