Leapmotor is set to become the first Chinese car-making startup to license EV technology to an overseas company once the deal is finalized.

Chinese EV startup Leapmotor reportedly in talks to license technology to foreign firm-CnEVPost

(A Leapmotor C11 SUV on display at the April 2023 Shanghai auto show. Image credit: CnEVPost)

Hong Kong-listed Chinese electric vehicle (EV) startup Leapmotor is in talks to license its technology to an overseas company, and is making substantial progress, local media outlet Cailian reported today, citing an industry source.

Once the partnership is finalized, Leapmotor will become the first Chinese car-making startup to provide technology to an offshore company, the report said.

Leapmotor has a presence in the core areas of smart cars, including batteries, electric motors, electronic control systems, smart driving and smart cockpits, and the technology export is expected to be the company's second source of profit outside of vehicle sales, the report said.

The brief report did not provide further details.

Founded in 2015, Leapmotor's models on sale include the mini vehicle T03, coupe model S01, flagship SUV model C11, and flagship sedan C01.

The company went public in Hong Kong on September 29, 2022, and its prospectus said that it is a Chinese EV company focusing on the mid-to-high-end mainstream new energy vehicle (NEV) market priced between RMB 150,000 ($20,760) and 300,000 yuan.

Leapmotor is the most vertically integrated emerging EV company in China, and one of the most vertically integrated of all NEV companies in the Chinese market, according to its prospectus.

The company has realized in-house R&D, design and manufacturing of all core systems and electronic components for smart EVs, creating the powertrain Leapmotor Power, the self-driving system Leapmotor Pilot and the smart cockpit system Leapmotor OS, it said.

Leapmotor plans to launch 1-3 new models per year and a total of seven new all-electric vehicles by the end of 2025, according to its prospectus.

As a complement to its existing products, Leapmotor also plans to launch versions of these new models with extended-range technology, based on its in-house developed technology, it said at the time.

Deliveries of the Leapmotor declined significantly beginning in the fourth quarter of last year, falling to 1,139 units by January of this year, the lowest since March 2021.

In an effort to reverse the sales slump, Leapmotor last year unveiled plans to release extended-range electric vehicle (EREV) models to target the larger market for plug-in hybrids.

Leapmotor founder, chairman and CEO Zhu Jiangming said after the company announced its third-quarter results on November 14, 2022, that all models on the company's C platform, as well as new platforms in the future, will have both BEV and EREV versions.

On March 1, Leapmotor officially launched the C11 EREV. Earlier this month, Leapmotor filed for an EREV variant for its flagship electric sedan, the C01.

($1 = RMB 7.2270)

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