China’s real estate giant Evergrande Group is driving its EV ambitions further as it signs a new deal with the state-run oil firm Sinopec. The strategic partnership includes the construction of EV charging and battery swapping facilities.
The two firms say they would carry out “all-round co-operation in charging and battery exchange stations for NEVs, lightweight materials for vehicles and high-performance building chemical materials.”
The deal follows a similar agreement Sinopec has undertaken with electric vehicle developer Nio in April. However, while Nio already has electric cars and battery swapping stations on the market, Evergrande is yet to catch up.
The property giant announced the EV brand Hengchi and unveiled nine electric cars subsequently in 2020. Pilot production of its first EV Hengchi 1 model is set to start in Q4 2021, with deliveries starting next year. At the same time, Evergrande Auto, the group’s dedicated EV-arm, said it plans to put its in-house developed power batteries into mass production in the second half of 2021.
The deal with Sinopec adds charging infrastructure to the strategy and, in fact, battery swapping. The companies have yet to name concrete numbers.
For Sinopec, the agreement forms part of its ambition to deploy 5,000 EV charging and battery swapping stations by 2025 and 1,000 hydrogen refuelling stations for the petrochemical company. The company also speaks of 7,000 distributed photovoltaic power stations and, in April, announced a plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, ten years ahead of China’s national target.
Sinopec Group is the largest oil and petrochemical products supplier in China and claims it ranks second globally by the total number of gas stations.
Evergrande Auto is pursuing ambitious goals. All in all, 14 electric models are being developed as Hengchi, covering the main passenger car segments such as sedans, SUVs and multi-purpose vehicles. According to an earlier report, the prices for these models are to range between 600,000 and 800,000 yuan, currently equivalent to about 78,000 to 104,000 euros.
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