Chinese Startup Plans Long-Range EV

April 08, 2019 at 12:57 PM

Bordrin Motor Corp., a three-year-old Chinese startup company, is developing an all-electric crossover vehicle with a targeted driving range of 550 km (342 miles).

The company will take wraps off the vehicle, dubbed the B31, on April 11 in conjunction with the Shanghai auto show. Sales are to begin next year in China.

FAW Group will produce the B31 at its plant in Tianjin, China. Bordrin also is constructing its own factory in Nanjing, China, that will begin making another EV, the upscale C31, in 2021. A third model, the A31, also is in the works.

The carmaker is developing its battery technology in-house. It also has partnered with Robert Bosch GmbH on a Level 2 autonomous driving system for the B31, Automotive News reports.

The C31 is expected to have a Level 3 automated system. Bordrin also has a partnership with Virginia-based Torc Robotics Inc. to develop fully autonomous vehicle systems. Daimler AG’s commercial truck unit bought a majority stake in Torq last month.

Following its launch in China, Bordrin plans to introduce the B31 in select European markets. The company also hopes to eventually sell EVs in the U.S., where it currently employs about 90 people in the Detroit suburb of Oak Park, Mich.

Bordrin was founded by Ximing Huang, a former Ford senior engineer, in 2016. The company was capitalized at 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion), half of which was provided by Nanjing’s Clean Energy Vehicle fund.

The Michigan team, headed by Jerry Lavine, is developing body, chassis and driver-assist systems. Lavine, who also is a former Ford engineer, most recently was vice president of advanced product development for Magna.