On April 29, announced that the first tooling trial (TT) builds of the ET5 sedan rolled off the line at NeoPark on the first anniversary of its construction launch.

(Image credit: Hefei government Wechat)

Hefei in central China's Anhui province, home to the Nio (NYSE: NIO, HKG: 9866, SGX: Nio) plants, has announced the latest batch of roads available for self-driving vehicle testing, and NeoPark is on it.

Hefei has announced the second batch of open roads for smart connected vehicle testing, with a total distance of about 232 kilometers, according to a WeChat article posted by the local government on Saturday.

The roads cover the Baohe district, Binhu district, High-tech district and Hefei Economic Development Zone and include city roads, urban expressways and highways, according to the article.

Companies that meet the requirements can select suitable roads from the list and apply to the Hefei city's smart connected vehicle road test authorities for testing, according to the article.

Among the areas available for road testing in Hefei Economic Development Zone include NeoPark, specifically the area of Xingang Avenue - Konggang East Road - Xinzheng Road - Tianzhu Mountain Avenue.

(Area displayed in Hefei government document)

Volkswagen Anhui and its logistics park area is also included, involving the Lianhua Road - Ziyun Road - Suisong Road - Zhujiang Road area.

In recent years, the development of smart connected vehicles has surged, and autonomous driving has become one of the main areas in the field of artificial intelligence, writes an article by the Hefei municipal government.

Last September, the Hefei municipal government released the city's first batch of autonomous driving test licenses, with 12 companies, including Baidu, Volkswagen, Didi and JAC, receiving licenses.

In March this year, Hefei released a document mentioning that the city will open up no less than 100 square kilometers of autonomous driving test areas and no less than 400 kilometers of open roads for autonomous driving testing in the coming years.

NeoPark is an electric vehicle industrial park jointly promoted by Nio and the Hefei Municipal Government, and on April 29, 2021, the two jointly announced the official start of construction of the park.

Hefei leverages government bonds to fund NeoPark construction-CnEVPost

(NeoPark rendering. Image credit: Nio)

The park covers an area of 16,950 mu (11.3 square kilometers) and is expected to be able to reach an annual capacity of 1 million vehicles and 100 GWh of batteries, with an upfront investment of RMB 50 billion.

Hefei's goal is that NeoPark will have an annual output value of over RMB 500 billion upon completion and bring together more than 50,000 talents from around the world to become one of the world's leading gathering places for the smart electric vehicle industry chain.

The second factory of Nio is the first project of NeoPark, which started its construction on April 29 last year.

On April 29 this year, the first anniversary of the start of the construction of the park, Nio announced that the first tooling trial (TT) builds of the ET5 sedan rolled off the production line here.

The ET5 is the first model to be produced at the site, and this latest development marks the completion of the site's production line and its readiness for production validation, Nio said. Deliveries of the model are expected to begin in September.

NIO sees first tooling trial builds of ET5 roll off line