Briefing: Tesla rival Byton on track to raise Series C by mid-year

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独家专访拜腾CEO戴雷: 拜腾不做“中国特斯拉” – 21st Century Business Herald

What happened: Chinese-funded electric vehicle startup Byton is working on its Series C fundraising round, which is scheduled to finish by mid-year, 21st Century Business Herald reported, citing the company’s CEO and co-founder Daniel Kirchert. Byton plans to start mass production in the fourth quarter of 2019 prior to a potential initial public offering. The three-year-old company, valued more than $4 billion, has more than 50,000 customers, half in China and half abroad, Kirchert stated, adding that they will launch products in the US and European markets in the second half of 2020.

Why it’s important: Byton is among several ambitious EV players trying to expand shares in Chinese market. Last week, Tesla slashed prices across its range of models in China in a bid to attract more buyers. Byton and Tesla are now constructing their Chinese factories, which are expected to produce 300,000 and 150,000 electric vehicles per year, respectively. Meanwhile, the Chinese government is promoting new energy vehicles (NEVs), which includes battery-powered and plug-in battery-petrol hybrid cars, to help reduce air pollution and drive technological development. The southern province of Hainan, for instance, is eyeing the installation of 40,000 EV charging piles in 2019. NEVs sales in China rose 61.7% to 1.3 million vehicles in 2018 compared with 2017 amid a decline in overall car sales.