Iconiq electric cars 'ready for mass production by 2019'

Updated 2017-12-21 13:00:24 China Daily

Tianjin-based Chinese electronic vehicle company Iconiq Motors has completed a new round of financing totaling 1.2 billion yuan (2.5 million) from institutions headed by GSR Capital, paving the way to fulfill the company's ambition to develop high-end electric vehicles and start mass production in 2019.

Iconiq Motors President Wu Nan said that thanks to support from Tianjin High-Tech Area (THT), Iconiq Motors has already started work of its manufacturing facility in Tianjin, and he expected to secure the production license after the plant is completed.

According to Wu, a second production facility in southern China is also in the pipeline.

Iconiq Motors CEO Bruno Lambert said: "We will fill the need in the automotive market, not just for China but internationally, for a premium-positioned electric vehicle that delivers truly exceptional passenger experiences through state-of-art technology."

In March, Abu Dhabi police ordered 5,000 all-electric multi-purpose vehicles (MPV) from Iconiq, a model making its China debut at the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition in April, according to a 21st Century Business Herald report.

On Nov 29, Iconiq's first flagship showroom was opened in Dubai, one day after it reached a partnership with Microsoft, under which the two parties are developing a smart platform that will deliver an AI-connected and personalized experience to passengers.

Bloomberg reported that China is planning to stop offering subsidies for electric cars and other new-energy vehicles as the Ministry of Finance works on a plan that would mandate authorities to phase out the incentives to discourage protectionism and help rein in government expenditure, which may undermine demand for autos made by new energy vehicle makers.

Subsidies for new energy vehicles totaled 59 billion yuan in 2015, and exceeded 83 billion yuan in 2016, according to Securities Daily, which added that the total subsidy this year had declined by 40 percent compared with a year ago.

But China's new energy vehicle output and sales remain bullish. From January to November, a total of 639,000 new energy vehicles were produced, and 609,000 units were sold across China, up 49.7 percent and 51.4 percent year-on-year respectively, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Although companies can benefit from the subsidies, they are required to be competitive without subsidies, said Lambert.

He said that Iconiq's partnerships with world leaders in design, engineering and technology will help their products "truly stand out in the evermore crowded EV market".

A complete new energy vehicle industrial chain is taking shape at Tianjin High-Tech Area, where the output value of new energy vehicle car manufacturers alone is expected to reach 100 billion yuan by 2020, said Ni Xiangyu, Party secretary of the management committee of Tianjin Binhai High-Tech Industrial Development Area.

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