Chery Jaguar Land Rover, the British automaker’s Chinese arm, will invest the equivalent of $1 billion into the development of electric vehicles after reaching an agreement with the Changshu Economic and Technological Development Zone in China.
The massive investment will lead to the creation of a new factory dedicated to producing electric powertrains as well as a new body workshop based on the existing facilities at Chery Jaguar Land Rover’s Changshu plant. Local media reports that the factory expansion will also spawn a new research and development center, including a track where vehicles can be put through their paces.
Jaguar Land Rover’s Chinese investments fall in line with the automaker’s goal of offering hybrid, plug-in hybrid or all-electric powertrains for every model in its range by 2020. To that end, it will invest no less than $18 billion over the next three years in EVs and new technologies.
Chery Jaguar Land Rover was established in November 2012 as a 50:50 joint venture between Chery Automobile and Jaguar Land Rover and builds roughly 200,000 vehicles annually.
While JLR is spending huge amounts on the development of electric vehicles, it remains a newcomer in this burgeoning market and only has one EV in its range: the I-Pace. Despite its limited experience with electrification, the I-Pace has been well-received by both customers and the motoring press.
Last month, the British manufacturer announced that its electric crossover’s range was certified in the U.S. at 234 miles (376 km) by EPA. This is slightly down on the 237 mile (381 km) range offered by the Tesla Model X 75D and the 258 miles (415 km) range offered up by the Hyundai Kona Electric.