Wednesday, March 31, 2021

"Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi to invest $10 billion in making electric cars"

As we've seen in posts over the last five weeks, the Chinese already dominate the production of wind turbines, solar cells and panels, batteries* and more importantly battery materials supply chains.

There was a method to our madness. We wanted to see who—in addition to politicians and their cronies—who would profit from the U.S. infrastructure spending and the U.S. Green New Deal spending. There will be a lot of money making its way to China. As we noted in a slightly different context in February:

"Did you know that because money and political power are fungible you can launder your ill-gotten gains into political contributions and end up with squeaky clean political influence with no one the wiser? And then use that influence to earn 'clean' money? Well now you know."

That's how sophisticated money launderers do it. 

Now on to electric vehicles!

From Bloomberg via the Toronto Star:

Xiaomi Corp. plans to invest about $10 billion (all figures U.S.) over the next decade to manufacture electric cars, embarking on its biggest-ever overhaul to enter China’s booming EV market.

Billionaire co-founder Lei Jun will lead a new standalone division that will invest an initial 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) on smart vehicle manufacturing, the company said in an exchange filing.

The Chinese smartphone maker joins tech giants from Apple Inc. to Huawei Technologies Co. in targeting the vehicle industry, betting future cars will grow increasingly autonomous and connected. Depending on progress, Xiaomi could end up investing a total 100 billion yuan ($15 billion) in the project in as little as three years, taking external financing into account, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News before the announcement. The company will contribute about 60 per cent of the envisioned sum and plans to raise the rest of the funds, said the person, who asked not be identified because the plans are private.

“We have a deep pocket for this project,” said Lei, also the chief executive officer, at an event in Beijing. “I’m fully aware of the risks of the car-making industry. I’m also aware the project will take at least three to five years with tens of billions of investment.”

Xiaomi doesn’t plan to invite outside investors to the project as the company aims to take full control of the car-making business, Lei said. “This will be the last startup project in my career.”

Xiaomi becomes the latest to pile into an already crowded arena, where an array of automakers from Tesla Inc. to local upstarts Nio Inc. and Xpeng Inc. are battling for a slice of the world’s biggest EV market. Search giant Baidu Inc. and Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. are also said to be teaming up to build electric cars. EV sales in China may climb more than 50 per cent this year alone as consumers embrace cleaner automobiles and costs tumble, research firm Canalys estimates....


*The largest battery manufacture in the world is China's CATL. Followed by Panasonic. Back to China, BYD CO LTD, Then Korea's LG Chem and Samsung SD.

As far as individual plants, from Benchmark Minerals Intelligence via :CleanTechnica, September 24, 2020:

A lot of other companies have plans but this is the state of play right now.