NANJING, April 1 (Xinhua) -- Chinese new energy vehicle (NEV) start-up Singulato Motors announced Saturday plans to invest 15 billion yuan (2.39 billion U.S. dollars) in the manufacturing hub of east China's Suzhou over the next five years.
A partnership between the company and the Suzhou city government covers research and development, production and industrial investment in the NEV industry.
Singulato Motors will set up a global research and development center in the city and will employ about 2,000 to 3,000 researchers in next five years to focus on advanced technologies like autonomous driving.
A production base for the company's high-quality compact vehicles will also be opened in Suzhou, after Singulato Motors decided to build a plant producing mid- and large-size cars in east China's Tongling in 2016.
The two sides will establish a 10-billion-yuan industrial investment fund to nurture more start-ups in the industry.
Singulato Motors, established in December 2014, covers businesses including NEVs, intelligent vehicle systems, and cloud car networking services.
Strategic government support help the NEV sector thrive and Singulato Motors will seek mutually beneficial outcomes via the partnership, said Shen Haiyin, CEO of the company.
NEVs are gaining popularity in China, the world's largest auto market, thanks to a string of supportive policies as they help reduce fossil fuel consumption and address air pollution.
Over 770,000 NEVs were sold in China last year, up 53.3 percent year on year. The country's stock of NEVs reached over 1.6 million, about half of the world's total.