(Bloomberg) — China Evergrande Group’s new-energy vehicle startup surged to a record in Hong Kong trading after releasing photos and video footage of its first batch of cars undergoing a winter test.
Stock of the EV arm jumped as much as 17% in early trading Thursday, touching a high of HK$54.15. The unit’s 72% year-to-date gain has lifted its market value to about HK$456 billion ($59 billion), more than twice as much as its parent company, a property-development giant with ambitions to take on Elon Musk in the world of electric vehicles.
Pictures of 10 sports-utility vehicles, whose model name wasn’t disclosed, were shown driving in a circle on a snow-covered field in Inner Mongolia. The three-week cold climate test will include a performance evaluation of the vehicle’s body, battery, electric motor and electric-control system, Evergrande said in a statement. Other details like the cars’ driving range weren’t revealed.
Still, the road test is a milestone of sorts for Evergrande, which has spent more than $3.7 billion on an array of EV-related companies after announcing in 2019 it wanted to be the world’s premier manufacturer of green cars within three to five years, toppling Tesla Inc.
Evergrande had initially promised to deliver its first ‘pure battery’ car by June 2019. Last August, its car unit said it aimed to start mass production of EVs in the second half of this year. Pictures and a video of six new-energy cars, from sedans to sports-utility vehicles, were unveiled at the time. The make of the vehicle shown being tested Wednesday is one of those six models, a company spokeswoman said, without elaborating.
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According to Wednesday’s statement, two of Evergrande’s planned production bases, in Guangzhou and Shanghai, have started trial production. Evergrande will also start mass production of its own batteries in the second half of 2021, the statement said.
Evergrande will be entering a crowded EV sector in China. New-energy vehicle retail sales rose 9.8% in 2020 to 1.1 million units and surged 58% year-on-year in December to 206,000, the China Passenger Car Association said last month. Of those December deliveries, 23,804 cars were Teslas.
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