Chinese Internet Companies target EV market

LeEco is latest to see the potential in electric vehicles for China market.

LeSEE concept car

LeEco's LeSEE concept car, as shown at 2016 Beijing Auto Show Image: LeEco

Internet company Le Holdings Co, otherwise know as LeEco is the latest internet-based corporate to look to the electric vehicle market for its next profit line.

LeEco is set to build a plant in Zhejiang Province with an annual capacity of 400,000 units.  Initially starting with a production run of half that size, work on building the 12bn Yuan ($1.9bn) plant will begin at the end of 2016 or early the following year.

Not satisfied with producing D-class electric cars for its home market, LeEco founder, Jia Yueting, has taken a stake in Californian Faraday Future with which it expects to build cars in the US.

But LeEco is not alone.  Also in August 2016, Chehejia Information Technology started work on a 5bn Yuan ($789m) EV production plant in Chagzhou in eastern China. Although a start-up based in Beijing, Chehejia is backed by Li Xiang, founder of the extremely popular Autohome auto information website.

And NextEV is also getting in on the act.  Founded in 2014 by Bitauto Holdings founder, William Li, the company sealed a 10bn Yuan ($1.5bn) deal to manufacture EVs for Jianghuai Automobile Co. Bitauto is one of the top providers of Chinese car pricing information.