China’s leading electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer, BYD Auto, has announced plans to build a new manufacturing hub for battery powered passenger vehicles and key components in the city of Changzhou, in China’s Jiangsu province.

The automaker signed a cooperation agreement with the Changzhou municipal government for a CNY10bn (US$1.49bn) investment in a 400,000 vehicle/year manufacturing facility valued at JPY50bn annually.

BYD also said it would establish an R&D centre at the facility at a later stage.

The new facility will strengthen the company’s EV manufacturing network in the country, according to BYD chairman Wang Chuanfu, which also includes plants in Shenzhen, Xi’an and Changsha.

Demand for electric vehicles globally is set to rise rapidly over the next few decades. In China alone, sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs), comprising mainly battery powered and hybrid vehicles, are forecast to rise to around 7m units by 2025 from 1.3m last year.

In 2019, NEV production is expected to reach 1.6m units after volume more than doubled to 304,000 in the first quarter of the year.

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By GlobalData