After a huge investment, this Chinese startup is gearing up.
We'll go ahead and assume that you know all about the Chinese automaker Byton. Wait, you don't? Well, perhaps that's because the company hasn't actually built any cars yet. Byton is a Chinese startup company that is looking to build global electric vehicles by 2019 (yes, that includes the United States). Back in January at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, the company revealed an EV Crossover, which showed a lot of promise. Now, Byton has announced that it has raised $500 million in a Series B fundraising round.
Some of the investors include FAW Group, Tus-Holdings, and battery producer CATL. "The success of this funding round highlights how diversified strategic investors will further expand Byton's circle of friends and broaden our development opportunities," Byton President Dr. Daniel Kirchert said in a company statement. "Byton is establishing a new benchmark for auto startups with four essential must haves, namely technology, product, capital and factory." Along with the investment, the company also announced the official opening of its headquarters in Nanjing, China, where it will also build manufacturing plants.
Byton says it plans to build working prototypes in the first half of 2019, with production models coming later that same year. We could see a Byton SUV in the US as soon as 2020, starting at around $45,000. A sedan will arrive after the SUV in 2021, and a minivan will follow suit in 2022. Byton claims the base SUV will travel 250 miles on a charge, and produce 272 horsepower in single-motor configuration. A more powerful dual-motor version will produce 476 hp. With an investment of $500,000,000 this Chinese startup looks like more than just a pipe dream.