Chinese electric-car startup NextEV announced that it signed a strategic partnership agreement with the Nanjing Municipal Government in China, to build a 3 billion RMB ($465 million) factory in the region. The young company, which came out of stealth mode just last year, is said to have already raised close to $1 billion.

The company appears to have a similar approach as Tesla’s high-end car to mass-market vehicle strategy. NextEV says it will launch an electric vehicle with supercar-like performance by the end of the year, which will be followed by a mass-market vehicle they plan to offer for about $50,000 in China. The startup already developed electric race car for the Formula E (see picture above).

No plan have been announced for international markets, but the company is also building a significant team in the US led by former Cisco and Motorola CTO Padmasree Warrior. The company recently hired a long-time senior program manager from Tesla for a similar role at NextEV’s Bay Area offices.

The company claims that the new plant could go into operation as soon as the second half of this year and manufacture 280,000 motors and “electronic modules” a year.

Here’s the full press release for the new plant:

NextEV and the Nanjing Municipal Government signed a strategic partnership agreement to build a 3 billion RMB plant facility for the development and production of high-performance motors and electronic modules in the Nanjing Economic and Technological Development Zone.

“The plant will have a production capacity annual output of 280,000 units when it goes into operation in the second half of this year, and we will focus on NextEV’s proprietary intellectual technologies such as our world class motors and electronic modules, for the first phase,” NextEV Co-founder & EVP, XPT CEO Jack Cheng said.

NextEV Founder and Chairman William Li adds, “NextEV believes that electric vehicles’ core components and their related products will be the next battleground for the industry, and we have developed our own proprietary intellectual technologies, on par and exceeding international standards, like the drive system assembly through our emphasis and investments in Research and Development. Chinese enterprises need to cooperate to develop complementary synergies in win-win relationships in order for China’s electric automotive industry to be globally competitive. To this end, NextEV is willing to share our technologies, and build key components for other domestic electric vehicle manufacturers.”

Nanjing Mayor Miao Rui Lin praised the initiative, saying, “The Nanjing Development Zone has wisely seized the opportunity provided by the government’s “The Belt and Road” initiative in recent years, which is to accelerate economic reforms towards advanced manufacturing and modern service industries. I am proud that a globally competitive and innovative high performance electric vehicle company like NextEV has chosen Nanjing for its core production facility, and we look forward to supporting the company’s development plans.”

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