Niutron's first model will be a mid-size SUV, which is scheduled for small batch trial production in March next year and will be officially launched in September next year.

(Image credit: Niutron)

After several rumors, Li Yinan, founder of Chinese electric scooter maker Niu Technologies, officially announced his car-building project today, becoming the latest to join the bandwagon.

Li unveiled his electric vehicle (EV) company called Niutron (自游家 in Chinese), saying its development has been underway since November 2018.

Niutron now has a 770,000-square-meter R&D and manufacturing facility in Changzhou, Jiangsu province, with a capacity of 180,000 units per year.

Niutron's first model, a mid-size SUV, is in the tuning and installation phase, with a small trial production run planned for March next year and an official launch in September next year, Li said.

The model will offer consumers a choice of extended-range version and an all-electric version.

Li announced that Niutron has closed a $500 million Series A round of funding led by IDG and Coatue.

Niutron is headquartered in Beijing, with an R&D center in Shanghai and a core R&D team of nearly 1,000 people with an average of more than 10 years of experience, according to an article posted last week on its official WeChat account.

Niutron has developed the Gemini platform and will build several models on two different technical routes, pure electric and extended-range, according to the article.

Niutron will make the car a humane, full-scene, high-end smart EV through an in-house developed intelligent cockpit, with an advanced self-driving system, it said.

Local media iautodaily reported on Monday that two factories built to Industry 4.0 standards by failed local car company Dorcen Motor have been taken over by , and Niutron, respectively.

Niutron took Dorcen's plant in Changzhou, Jiangsu province, and BYD took its plant in Fuzhou, Jiangxi province, according to the report.

BYD, Niu Technologies-backed Niutron reportedly take over failed automaker Dorcen's plants