Chinese electric vehicle (EV) startup Byton has set up a manufacturing partnership with MS Autotech of Korea.
"We have forged partnerships with MS Autotech of Korea and Marubeni of Japan in production and investment," said Daniel Kirchert, CEO of Byton, at a media conference held in Las Vegas of the United States, on Jan. 5 (local time), one day before the opening of CES 2020.
Byton will cooperate with MS Autotech in EV parts supply and production, and with Marubeni in EV sales and charging infrastructure.
In particular, Byton announced that it will cooperate with MS Autotech to make Gunsan, a city on the western coast of Korea, a major EV production base in the future. It plans to start manufacturing of its EVs at the Gunsan plant of MS Autotech later this year and begin to release the EVs to the Korean market next year.
“In cooperation with MS Autotech, we will export EVs made at the Gunsan plant to the global market and also sell them in the Korean market,” said a Byton official. Production is expected to reach 50,000 units annually via the OEM system.
On this day, Byton also unveiled its mass-produced EV “M-Byte” for the first time. The M-byte is expected to roll out from the Gunsan plant along with the K-Byte, a sedan model.
The M-Byte is a sports utility vehicle (SUV) with a driving distance of 458 kilometers (a 95 mAh battery-based model) on one single charge based on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). It takes 35 minutes to charge the model 80 percent. The 270-horsepower rear-wheel drive (RWD) model can reach 100 kilometers per hour in 7.5 seconds after start. The 405-horsepower all wheel drive (AWD) model can do this in 5.5 seconds. They can run at up to 190 km/h.
The M-Byte is considered to be a powerful rival of Tesla in the global EV market. The M-Byte's price starts at US$45,000. In fact, the M-Byte has a longer mileage (about 100 km longer) than the Tesla Model S (Standard Range Plus), which is in a similar price range. Byton is expected to start selling the M-Byte in California, the United States, next year, but its pre-orders already surpassed 60,000 units.