WM Motor, a Chinese electric vehicle startup, said it planned to invest in a new global R&D centre in the city of Chengdu, in Sichuan province, according to local reports.
The company was established in 2015 with the backing of Chinese internet giant Tencent and currently employs around 3,000 people across its home market.
It launched its first vehicle, the EX5 battery powered SUV with a range of 460km, in the fourth quarter of 2018.
The company has a 200,000 units/year vehicle assembly plant in Wenzhou in Zhejiang province and cumulative sales of around 30,000 vehicles to date.
WM Motor said its new CNY5.5bn (US$786m) R&D centre would focus on developing new energy passenger vehicles and advanced technology such as 5G connectivity, autonomous driving and artificial intelligence (AI) for vehicles.
It planned to launch two new SUVs by the end of 2021, including the Maven, which the company said would have a range of 800km (500 miles) on a single charge and would feature Level 4 autonomous driving functions.