A Chinese auto tycoon who fled the country after being accused of economic crimes is preparing an ambitious plan to make clean-tech cars in the United States, a report said.

The former chairman of Brilliance China Automotive Holdings, Yang Rong, ranked by Forbes as China’s third-richest man in 2001, would announce a plan later this month to set up a company in Alabama, a source with direct knowledge of the plan told Reuters.

Yang would cooperate with the Alabama state government on the project, expected to create thousands of jobs in its initial phase, the source said.

Support for the plan had come from former US vice-president Al Gore, an environmental activist and now a partner at US venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & BYERS, the source, declining to be more specific, told the news agency.