LeEco’s self-driven cars set to get a $1.8 billion factory


LeEco LeSEE

Chinese technology and internet company LeEco (formerly known as Letv), said on Wednesday that they’re going to produce 400,000 electric cars, based on the LeSEE taxi concept. The project will have an initial investment of 12 billion Yuan ($1.8 billion) to build an electric car plant in eastern China, specifically in the Diqing county, near the city of Hangzhou.

The facility will be part of a larger project called “Eco Experience Park”, that will include an entertainment park, car charging stations and offices, which will cost the company 20 billion Yuan ($3 billion).

LeEco also announced a partnership with Aston Martin and will help them in the production of the RapidE concept car. The vehicle from the historic British manufacturer is expected to go on sale in 2018.

That’s not all, LeEco has also formed an alliance with Faraday Future and LeEco’s founder Jia Yueting has invested in their plant which is being built in Las Vegas. This cooperation will help both companies as they will save up money and resources on R&D by sharing their know-how and facilities.

While this is great news for the automotive industry, we have to mention that LeEco’s long-term vision is to offer cars free of charge and then make money through services, in the same way the company currently makes money through some of its smartphones and televisions. So you won’t be able to own one yourself (assuming you can afford it).

LeEco will not be the only company to get in the electric vehicles business, indeed Chinese government’s incentives to promote switching over to clean energy as a replacement for petroleum to fuel vehicles, created a rush into this industry from many non-automakers and start-ups. An overall positive move both for the economy and the environment.

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