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Another Chinese EV startup raises an incredible amount of money

China is leaping over most other markets when it comes to the electrification of transport and money is flowing to finance several up and coming EV startups.

Now another Chinese EV startup, Leap Motor, has announced an important financing round.

In the last few years, Chinese startups like NIO, Faraday Future, Xpeng, BYTON, and many others have raised billions to bring electric vehicles to market.

Now, Leap Motor is adding a few hundred million dollars to the pool with a new round of financing.

Hangzhou-based electric vehicle maker announced this week that it has raised RMB 2 billion ($290 million) for its ongoing Series A round led by Shanghai Electric Group, according to Deal Asia.

The company had already raised about $62 million from Sequoia Capital’s Chinese division earlier this year.

They say that they will use the funds to “complete vehicle development, EV battery, electric motor and control as well as to boost its marketing activities.”

While Leap Motor’s story sounds a lot like many other Chinese EV startups so far, it differentiates itself with the first vehicle it plans to bring to market: a relatively affordable electric coupe.

Most other startups are working on SUVs, family sedans or hypercars, but Leap Motor’s first vehicle is the S01, a 2+2 coupe with a surprisingly cheap starting price.

When they unveiled the vehicle last year, they were talking about a starting price of just 200,000 yuan (~$29,000 USD) and that’s before incentives. It could be half that in some markets in China.

They are talking about a range of 460 km (286 miles), though they don’t specify which standard that is based on. The drive unit has an output of 125 kW and it can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.9 seconds, according to the startup.

It is also equipped with autonomous driving hardware, which the company calls ‘Leap Pilot, but it also refers to it as an “autopilot system.”

They are currently working on their factory to bring the vehicle to production next year. They are talking about a production capacity of about 200,000 vehicles per year.

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