MUNICH -- Avatr, a premium EV startup backed by some of China’s most prominent tech companies, is targeting a European launch within two years, the company’s CEO said.
The automaker is also looking at European production, CEO Tan Benhong told Automotive News Europe on the sidelines of the IAA Mobility auto show held this week in Munich. A factory location has not been decided on, he said.
Avatr launched its second model, the 12 (pronounced "one two") large electric sedan , during the show. Both the sedan and the company’s first model -- the 11 SUV -- were designed at its studio in Munich.
Avatr is a joint venture between the state-owned automaker Changan, the global battery leader CATL and the tech giant Huawei. It was founded as a joint venture between Changan and Nio, before Nio transferred its stake to Changan in 2020.
The company has yet to decide which models to launch in Europe. "We need to see which models are suitable," Benhong said.
Avatr has promised to launch four models in four years, an ambition it is currently on track to achieve after beginning sales of the 11 in 2022.
The company is targeting the premium market and intends to compete against incumbents such as BMW, Benhong said.
The 12 sits on the same CHN platform as the 11 and uses the HarmonyOS 4.0 operating system and ADS 2.0 driver assistance from Huawei. The car will also use CATL batteries with exact specifications to be revealed closer to the car’s October launch date in China.
Avatr announced in August that it would one of the first car companies to use CATL’s recently unveiled Shenxing Superfast Charging lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery, which is claimed to add a range of 400 km with just 10 minutes of charging.
The 11 SUV currently uses a CATL battery capable of adding 200 km in 10 minutes of charging. The 11 has a range of up to 705 km (438 miles) on a single charge, the company said, citing testing to China’s range measuring standards.