The Hengchi 5 will initially be sold in small numbers to individual customers and will be used mainly in the ride-hailing market, local media reports said.

Evergrande's first EV model, Hengchi 5, reportedly to open for pre-order on May 20-CnEVPost

(Image credit: CnEVPost)

Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group's (Evergrande NEV) first model, the Hengchi 5, will be available for pre-order on May 20 for a deposit of RMB 1,000 yuan ($147), Auto Time today quoted an Evergrande employee as saying.

The Hengchi 5 will be sold in small numbers to individual users in the initial phase and will be used primarily in the ride-hailing market, the employee said, adding that Evergrande NEV's subsidiary that provides ride-hailing services is largely ready.

Being used for ride-hailing will allow the model to gain exposure and will be offered in large numbers to individual consumers after building up word of mouth, according to the employee.

On March 24 and April 20, two Evergrande NEV affiliates were established in Beijing and Shanghai, respectively, both operating under the scope including ride-hailing services, the report noted.

On January 12, Evergrande NEV announced that the first production vehicle of the Hengchi 5 had rolled off the production line, 12 days ahead of schedule.

In early March, the Hengchi 5 was included in a catalog of models that will be allowed to be sold published by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the last regulatory process for a model to be able to begin sales in China, usually months before its official launch.

On March 27, Evergrande NEV President Liu Yongzhuo said the company is confident that, with the support of the world's top suppliers, it will be able to ensure that the Hengchi 5 is of the highest quality and will be in mass production by June 22.

Earlier this month, there were rumors that the Hengchi 5 was up for pre-sale during the Chinese Labor Day holiday from April 30 to May 4, with 50,000 units ordered in 10 hours, which Auto Time quoted the company employee as saying was false.

On April 30, Evergrande NEV started recruiting dealers, opening dealership authorization for 18 cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.

It is worth noting that Evergrande still has debt issues to resolve, and ordinary consumers still have doubts about buying its models.