Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE: BABA) has begun mass production of smart electric vehicles, the register reports. Alibaba’s EV business with state-owned automobile company SAIC, called IM Motors, will be ready for sales of the IM L7 luxury sedan on March 29.
SAIC’s factory in Shanghai’s Lingang Special Zone is manufacturing the vehicles for deliveries in April.
The vehicle is over 5m long with a single 340hp rear engine on the base version and another version sporting twin 237hp and 340hp engines. The 93kWh battery will allow the twin-engine version to travel 615 km.
The vehicle is said to park itself, drive autonomously on the highway, and semi-autonomously around town. Its intelligent driving systems consist of the Nvidia Jetson Xavier chipset, 12 high-precision cameras, 5mm wave radars, lidar and 12 ultrasonic sensors.
The car is a potential competitor Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) Model S in the Chinese market, selling for ¥408,800 ($64,670) discounted from the US price of Tesla Model S, which starts at $94,990. Tesla also has operations in Lingang, operating a Gigafactory there, conveniently called Giga Shanghai.
Alibaba and SAIC started developing smart cars in 2016.
Price action: Shares of BABA traded down 0.14% at $100.46 when last checked on Monday.
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