Chinese battery and electric automaker BYD reportedly has set up a plant to mass produce lithium batteries for its electric cars in Huizhou, south China’s Guangdong Province.

BYD was last week reported to have recently signed an agreement with one of China’s top three auto groups – possibly SAIC – to provide lithium-ion batteries for hybrid vehicles.

Citing a report in the China Securities Journal, Asia Pulse said BYD, partly owned by ‘sage of Omaha’ billionaire investor Warren Buffett, has injected around CNY5bn (US$732.05m) into the operation of the Huizhou plant, which produces rechargeable batteries, automobile parts and handset components.

Facilities for the production of batteries for the company’s electric cars are almost ready now after construction began last September, the newspaper said.

The Shenzhen-based company’s F3DM, China’s first plug-in hybrid, made its debut last December.

Huizhou plant, the first eligible for mass production of lithium-ion batteries that are core technologies of BYD’s electric cars, is seen as a key step in the company’s electric car manufacturing.

BYD plans to launch an EV in the US next year.