Future Mobility Corp.’s Byton unit says it has begun testing its upcoming M-Byte electric crossover vehicle on test tracks and public roads near its Nanjing headquarters in China.
FMC formed the brand last year and unveiled the M-Byte concept in January at the CES electronics show in Las Vegas. The company aims to start sales in China by the end of 2019, then spread to the U.S. and Europe in 2020.
Byton plans to build 100 pre-production prototypes in Nanjing by year-end. Ten of the vehicles will be shipped to the U.S., where they will be fitted with Level 4 self-driving technology developed partner Aurora Innovation Inc., company officials tell Tech Crunch.
In June, FMC raised $500 million for Byton in a funding round led by Chinese carmaker FAW, Ningde-based battery producer CATL and Tsinghua University’s Tus-Holdings investment arm.
The concept vehicle included a host of connected and automated vehicle technologies. Byton plans to offer two electric powertrain options, with the top-level package generating 470 hp and providing a 330-mile range.
Chrysler pioneered the modern-day minivan more than 30 years ago and has been refining and improving that type of vehicle ever since.
Lithium-ion batteries have become the technology of choice for EVs, and falling costs and rising energy levels could keep them on top for nearly two decades.
Sandy Munro and his team of engineers and costing analysts at Munro & Associates were contacted by UBS Research—an arm of the giant banking and investment firm—and asked whether it was possible to do a teardown and cost assessment of the Chevrolet Bolt EV.