Posted Dec 21st 2014 4:00PM
With just under 7,000 electric vehicles capable of highway speeds sold in China in 2013 (versus over 200,000 slower models), the country's government plans a major investment of support behind its efficient auto industry in the near future. Including buying more of them for official purposes, the strategy includes issuing new automotive manufacturing licences to companies that want to build EVs but aren't currently automakers. At least one of these businesses believes that it can revolutionize the market with its vehicle.
Jia Yueting (pictured above) has a story that almost sounds like the Chinese counterpart to Elon Musk's. He was a young tech genius and at 41 years old has already taken at least two companies public.
Jia's current venture is Leshi Internet Information & Technology, a maker of web-enabled TVs, and according to Bloomberg his 44 per cent stake is worth about $2.3 billion. Now, his sights are set on succeeding in the auto industry.
Jia claims his EV is well under development and is promising next-gen technology that sounds hard to deliver on. According to Bloomberg, the vehicle would offer multiple touchscreens inside, autonomous driving and automatic parking – all for a reasonable price. He already reportedly has people working in Silicon Valley to develop the systems and has an investment in a battery company, as well. The next step is getting the government licence that potentially allows the dream to become a reality.
Even his Jia's model doesn't live up to its big promises, there are other companies in China wanting to build EVs. According to Bloomberg, Fisker owner Wanxiang is also applying for a manufacturing licence, and it already has ties to the industry as an automotive parts supplier with over $23 billion in annual revenue.