(Reuters) - Chinese electric vehicle startup Byton said on Monday it has received a distributor license from California, paving the way for the company to launch its first electric SUV vehicle, Byton M-Byte, in the United States.
The license will facilitate Byton to sell and service vehicles through its own infrastructure as well as via retail partners in the country.
The company will launch its electric SUV in China in 2020 and in the United States and the European Union in 2021.
Byton also said it has established Byton Cars California LLC as its retail entity, and once this retail company secures a California dealer license, it will be able to sell and lease directly to customers in California and sell online in other states.
The company, which has a presence in the United States and Germany as well, is among several largely Chinese-funded EV startups betting on U.S. production to compete with Tesla Inc and other auto giants in the EV space.
Byton was launched in September 2017 by Future Mobility Corp, a company co-founded by former BMW and Nissan Motor executives.
Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi