China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group has kicked started deliveries of the all-electric Hengchi 5 SUV.
The automaker, formed out of property developer China Evergrande Group, has ambitions to be a worldwide leader in electric vehicle sales and is readying a plethora of vehicles for production. The first of these, the Hengchi 5, is being produced at a plant in the northern city of Tianjin.
Reuters notes that the first 100 customers took delivery of their SUVs on Saturday and that production will steadily ramp up. The car manufacturer will begin mass production of its second electric vehicle in the first half of 2023 while its third model will be launched in the second half of 2023.
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While Evergrande has no prior experience in building cars, the Hengchi 5 has proven popular among consumers in China. Indeed, the company revealed in late July that it had received 37,000 pre-orders for the SUV just two weeks after the order books opened.
Evergrande is looking 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 minds within 15 days of collecting the keys.
Found beneath the skin of the Hengchi 5 is a CATL-sourced lithium-phosphate battery that drives a 201 hp electric motor. The SUV has a claimed range of 435 miles (700 km) according to the NEDC testing cycle.
Evergrande wants to make 1 million EVs a year by 2025 and plans to transition its primary business from real estate to its automotive venture over the next decade.