After wowing audiences in April with the unveiling of its LeSee concept car at the 2016 Beijing auto show, Chinese tech giant LeEco appears to be moving ahead with plans to start car production.
The company, famous for its smartphones and online streaming services, announced on Wednesday that it would spend 12 billion yuan (approximately $1.8 billion) in establishing an electric car plant in Hangzhou, in China’s Zhejiang province.
LeEco said the plant would have an annual capacity of 400,000 cars but didn’t mention when it would be online.
A number of firms in China not normally associated with the auto industry are looking at car production to take advantage of generous incentives for electrified cars. The incentives are part of the government’s attempts to reduce pollution in major cities and wane the dependence on oil.
It was reported on Monday that American-based electric car startup Karma, the maker of the Revero extended-range electric sedan, also plans to build an electric car plant in Hangzhou.
LeEco’s LeSee concept car was a large sedan with an electric powertrain and autonomous driving technology. LeEco has said it hopes to change the car business model. Instead of simply selling cars, LeEco’s goal is to offer cars for free or at minimal cost and then make money through services, in the same way the company currently makes money via smartphones and streaming services.
LeEco is a financial backer of American-based electric car startup Faraday Future, which is establishing its own electric car plant just outside of Las Vegas. LeEco is also working with Aston Martin on electric cars and next-generation infotainment systems.