China's automaker BYD broke ground on its new factory in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality on Friday, aiming to produce batteries for electric vehicles (EVs).
With an investment of 10 billion yuan (about 1.49 billion U. S. dollars), the power battery factory under construction will have an annual output capacity of 20 gigawatt hours (GWh) and will become a major battery production base for new energy vehicles in the country.
BYD will build eight fully-automated lithium-ion battery production lines to make power cells, modules and packs, as well as develop supporting industries.
The first-stage construction is scheduled to be completed and put into operation within one year, according to BYD.
Work on BYD's 2.4-billion-yuan rail bus project ("Yun Ba" in Chinese) started in Chongqing at the same time. Like the BYD Skyrail project that provides multi-layered transportation solutions to relieve urban traffic congestion, Yun Ba will begin a trial run on a 15.4-km-long track by the end of 2019.
As one of China's traditional auto manufacturing hubs, Chongqing has been hastening its transformation by bringing in leading EV manufacturers like BYD and other EV startups in recent years, according to industry insiders.
The municipal government plans to raise annual automobile production to 3.2 million by 2022, including 400,000 EVs and 1.2 million ICVs (intelligent connected vehicles), and generate an output value of 650 billion yuan.