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Electric startup creates a buzz with first model revealed

By Li Fusheng | China Daily | Updated: 2019-04-15 10:33
Jinkang Seres is one of the few electric startups that have won the nod from the National Development and Reform Commission to build a plant. [Photo/Xinhua]

Jinkang Seres, a subsidiary of Sokon Group, unveiled its first model last week in Southwest China's Chongqing. The electric startup said that it will launch more than 25 models including sedans, MPVs and SUVs by 2025.

The first model, a mid-sized SUV called the SF5, is built on an independently developed electric platform and has a range of more than 500 kilometers on one charge, according to the startup established three years ago in Silicon Valley in the United States.

It is 4,700 mm in length, 1,930 mm in width and 1,629 mm in height, with its wheelbase reaching 2,875 mm.

Featuring a dual-motor and smart four-wheel drive system, the model has a maximum output of 510 kW and a top torque of 1,040 Nm. It uses Alibaba's operating system, has a top speed of 250 km/h and can sprint from 0-100 km/h in less than 3.5 seconds.

Besides the electric version, Jinkang Seres also presented a range-extender version. In electric mode, the version can run up to 150 km. It said this meets the daily demand of most people.

"Our dream is to render the blue skies back to city dwellers," said Zhang Zhengping, founder and CEO of the company.

The company said the number of patents it has filed and received in China and the US has reached more than 1,000.

It is working with a number of leading companies including Alibaba, Nvidia and Huawei in terms of research and development.

Zhang said both the electric and the range-extender versions would be ready for presale at the Shanghai auto show that kicks off on Tuesday. Prices are to be announced later and deliveries are expected to start in the third quarter of the year.

The models will be produced at the startup's intelligent plant in Chongqing. It is one of the few electric startups that have won the nod from the National Development and Reform Commission to build a plant.

The plant, with an investment of 4 billion ($599 million), has the state-of-the-art facilities, including more than 1,000 robots.

They have helped ensure the quality of the models produced reach the top standards in China, Europe and the United States, said the carmaker.

Zhang said the company will let customers test drive the model before they order customized ones through their smartphones. Through an app, the buyers can also see what production stages his or her model is going through.

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