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Tesla rival LeEco building $1.8 billion EV factory in China

It'll produce up to 400,000 electric cars per year.
Steve Dent, @stevetdent
August 11, 2016
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Reuters/Damir Sagolj

China's EV industry hasn't produced many vehicles yet, but thanks to strong government incentives, it's on an explosive growth curve. One of the main players is electronics giant LeEco, which backs EV builder Faraday Future and recently showed off its own electric car, the LeSee. It unveiled plans for a $1.8 billion EV factory near the Chinese city of Huzhou that will pump out 400,000 EVs per year. The new plant "will be open to all LeEco's strategic partners including Faraday Future," says CEO Jia Yueting.

The factory will only produce EV vehicles with connected and self-driving features. It's just first phase of what will eventually be a $3 billion auto "Eco Experience Park" complete with with a theme park, EV facilities and offices, according to LeEco. The company plans to strengthen ties with partner Faraday Future, which is also building its own $1 billion EV plant in Nevada. Faraday recently announced plans to build a second plant in Vallejo, California, too.

The Faraday Future FFZero1

All of this growth is exciting, but while LeEco and Faraday have both shown off futuristic prototype EVs, neither has actually built or sold any yet. Faraday did say that sales of its first electric car will launch next year, based on its prototype FFZero1 supercar platform, and LeEco plans to launch self-driving versions of its LeSEE. Meanwhile Tesla, which also built its $4-5 billion Gigafactory in Nevada, is selling two vehicles and recently launched a third, the Model 3.

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