Lotus' Wuhan plant, with a total investment of more than RMB 8 billion ($1.2 billion), was officially completed on July 15.

Lotus' Wuhan plant sees first vehicle of Eletre 'Hyper-SUV' roll off line-CnEVPost

(Image credit: Wuhan Economic Development Zone)

Geely-owned Lotus Technology's plant in Wuhan, Hubei province, central China, was officially completed on July 15 and saw the first unit of its Eletre "Hyper-SUV" roll off the line, according to local authorities.

Officials from Hubei province, Geely and Lotus executives attended a ceremony to celebrate the occasion, according to a press release issued by the Wuhan Economic Development Zone, which did not disclose which production phase of the Eletre is currently off the line.

Lotus' Wuhan plant sees first vehicle of Eletre 'Hyper-SUV' roll off line-CnEVPost

Lotus' plant is located in the Wuhan Economic Development Zone's smart connected electric vehicle industrial park, covering an area of 1,526 mu (1 square kilometer), according to the press release.

With a total investment of over RMB 8 billion ($1.2 billion), the plant is Lotus' leading global production base for ultra-high-end smart vehicles, the release said.

To meet the needs of vehicle off-line inspection, smart driving, and customer experience, Lotus has also created a 3-kilometer-long, multi-functional compound experience track with 16 turns in the area of the plant.

The track references some elements of the Formula 1 track, but also meets the needs of high-level intelligent driving, allowing users to experience driving fun such as racing and drifting on the track, according to the press release.

Geely acquired Lotus, which has a history of about 70 years, in 2017, owning 51 percent of the latter, including Lotus Cars and Lotus Engineering.

At the end of August last year, Lotus established a new company in China, Wuhan Lotus Technology, and received an investment from NIO Capital.

Lotus' first all-electric Eletre Hyper-SUV, previously codenamed TYPE 132, debuted in China on June 1, after it was announced in London in late March.

The Eletre is the first all-electric model from Lotus, and its launch marks an important milestone in the 70-plus year-old car brand's transition to electrification.

The model is the first to be developed based on the Electric Premium Architecture (EPA), the Lotus-led development and industry-leading 800V platform.

At 5,103 mm in length, 2,019 mm in width and 1,630 mm in height, and with a wheelbase of 3,019 mm, it is larger than the Porsche Taycan.

The Eletre is powered by dual permanent magnet synchronous motors with a combined maximum power of 675 kW (905 hp) and can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in as fast as 2.95 seconds.

Lotus said the Eletre will have a battery capacity of more than 100 kWh and a WLTP range of 600 km.

Benefiting from its 800V architecture, the model can travel 120 km in as little as 5 minutes of charging and charge from 10 percent to 80 percent in 20 minutes when using a 420-kW supercharger.

On June 23, Chinese power battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL, SHE: 300750) officially unveiled its highly anticipated CTP (cell to pack) 3.0 Qilin battery, which it said will easily allow vehicles to achieve a range of 1,000 kilometers.

CATL did not mention the standard under which the vehicle can achieve the 1,000 km range, but in China it generally refers to the CLTC standard, which requires a discount to convert to the WLTP standard.

Lotus' official Weibo account hinted at the use of the Qilin Battery when it reposted a CATL video introducing it, saying, "Lotus is going on a new journey with its good partner."

Local media outlet Cailian later reported that Lotus will carry CATL's Qilin Battery on the Eletre, but did not provide any more information.

Lotus Eletre 'Hyper-SUV' debuts in China and opens for pre-orders

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