China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group has started deliveries Hengchi 5 all-electric SUV.
The car manufacturer, which was formed from the developer China Evergrande Group, has ambitions to become the world leader in electric car sales and is preparing many cars for production. The first of these, the Hengchi 5, is produced at a factory in the northern city of Tianjin.
Reuters notes that the first 100 customers received a delivery their SUVs on Saturday, and that production will rise steadily. The automaker will start mass production of its second electric car in the first half of 2023, with the third model in the second half of 2023.
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Although Evergrande has no previous experience in building cars, the Hengchi 5 has proven popular with consumers in China. Indeed, at the end of July, the company revealed that it was received 37,000 pre-orders for the SUV just two weeks after the order books opened.
Evergrande plans to deliver the first 10,000 units between October 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023, and will give buyers a full refund if they change their mind within 15 days of receiving the keys.
Under the skin of the Hengchi 5 is a CATL lithium-phosphate battery that drives a 201 hp electric motor. The SUV has a claimed range of 435 miles (700 km) under the NEDC test cycle.
Evergrande wants to do 1 million electric vehicles per year by 2025 and plans to shift its core business from real estate to automotive manufacturing over the next decade.