BEIJING -- SF Motors Inc., a
California electric vehicle unit of China's Chongqing
Sokon Industry Group, said Thursday it has
bought an EV and battery tech firm headed by former Tesla Inc. executive Martin Eberhard for $33 million (218 million yuan).
The acquired company, InEVit Inc., will become a wholly owned
subsidiary of SF Motors, one of an array of Chinese-funded EV
startups in China and the United States.
InEVit will continue to operate as a standalone technology
firm licensing EV and battery know-how to global automakers.
Eberhard, who has worked with SF Motors as an advisor, will
become SF Motors' chief innovation officer and vice chairman of
"In this new role, Eberhard will primarily focus on
technology innovation, product development, product positioning
and branding ¨C all with the goal of helping SF Motors meet
global EV demands," SF Motors said in a statement.
"InEVit's expertise, patented technologies and manufacturing
techniques will be leveraged to help SF Motors to rapidly and
profitably scale e-powertrain production for its own future
products, and will look to license this technology to other
automakers to help speed zero emission vehicle proliferation
across the industry."
SF Motors is the latest Chinese-funded firm to join a boom
in EV development.
Established by Sokon Industry, a small automaker in
Chongqing producing low-cost micro commercial vans, SF Motors
recently established a U.S. r&d center in Silicon Valley and an r&d branch in Ann Arbor,
Michigan, as well as branches in Germany, Japan and China.
Sokon Industry also produces and sells crossovers and SUVs.