April 1, 2018 / 7:28 AM / a year ago

China NEV start-up Singulato to invest $2.39 billion in Suzhou: Xinhua

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese new energy vehicle (NEV) start-up Singulato Motors plans to invest 15 billion yuan ($2.39 billion) in eastern China’s Suzhou over the next five years, the official news agency Xinhua reported on Sunday.

A partnership between the company and the Suzhou city government covers research and development, production and industrial investment in the NEV industry, according to Xinhua, which said the announcement was made on Saturday.

Singulato Motors will set up a global research and development center in the city and will employ about 2,000 to 3,000 researchers in next five years to focus on advanced technologies like autonomous driving.

The two sides will also establish an industrial investment fund worth 10 billion yuan to nurture more start-ups in the sector, Xinhua added.

Singulato Motors, established in December 2014, covers businesses including NEVs, intelligent vehicle systems, and car networking services based on big data and cloud computing, according to its official website.

China began promoting electric cars in 2009 and aims to become a dominant global producer as it bids to curb vehicle emissions, boost energy security and promote high-tech industries.

A total of 777,000 NEVs were sold last year in China, the most anywhere, and the government aims to bring annual sales and output of NEVs to 2 million by 2020.

China’s finance ministry will also extend a tax rebate on purchases of NEVs until the end of 2020, a boost for hybrid and electric carmakers.

Reporting by Lusha Zhang and Se Young Lee; Editing by Kim Coghill

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