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Car maker moves into UK market to launch cheap EV with 165-mile range

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A MAJOR car maker is set to launch an ultra-cheap electric hatchback with a 165-mile range into the UK market.

Affordable Chinese-manufactured EVs will be available to Brits in months as part of a joint venture between Stellantis and Leapmotor.

The Leapmotor T03 supermini is a five-door which can travel 165 miles

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The Leapmotor T03 supermini is a five-door which can travel 165 milesCredit: stellantis
The Leapmotor C10 SUV is also being launched into the UK market

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The Leapmotor C10 SUV is also being launched into the UK marketCredit: stellantis
All cars will need to be electric, or zero-emission, by 2050 in the UK

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All cars will need to be electric, or zero-emission, by 2050 in the UKCredit: Getty

All cars will need to be electric, or zero-emission, by 2050, to meet the net-zero emissions target set by the UK government.

The Leapmotor T03 supermini and the C10 SUV, will be available from March next year.

The supermini is a five-door which can travel 165 miles and boasts a lower price point than other EVs selling in the UK – and is likely to be priced at £17,200.

Carlos Tavares – CEO of Stellantis, which owns Vauxhall – said: “The creation of Leapmotor International is a great step forward in helping address the urgent global warming issue with state-of-the-art BEV models that will compete with existing Chinese brands in key markets around the world.

“Leveraging our existing global presence, we will soon be able to offer our customers price competitive and tech-centric electric vehicles that will exceed their expectations.

WHO ARE STELLANTIS AND LEAPMOTOR?

Stellantis

Stellantis is one of the world’s leading automakers aiming to provide clean, safe and affordable freedom of mobility to all.

Its portfolio of brands include Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Citroën, Dodge, DS Automobiles, FIAT, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, Opel, Peugeot, Ram, Vauxhall, Free2move and Leasys.

Stellantis is executing its Dare Forward 2030, a bold strategic plan that paves the way to achieve the ambitious target of becoming a carbon net zero mobility tech company by 2038, with single-digit percentage compensation of the remaining emissions, while creating added value for all stakeholders.

In 2023, Stellantis invested in Leapmotor.

In early May 2024, Stellantis and Leapmotor formed a joint venture called Leapmotor International B.V. to explore the international market.

Leapmotor

Established in 2015, Leapmotor is a technology-driven intelligent electric vehicle (EV) company.

The founder Zhu Jiangming is an electrical engineer who has over 30 years of technical experience.

Leapmotor is headquartered in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, and its business scope covers intelligent electric vehicle design, research and development, manufacturing, intelligent driving, electric motor control, battery system development, as well as cloud computing-based vehicle networking solutions.

Products on sale include C10, C11, C01, T03, offering pure electric and extended range dual power options.

In 2023, Stellantis invested in Leapmotor.

“Under Tianshu Xin’s leadership, they have built a compelling worldwide commercial and industrial strategy to quickly ramp-up the sales distribution channels to support Leapmotor’s robust growth and create value for both partners.”

Leapmotor founder, chairman and CEO Jiangming Zhu added: “The partnership between Leapmotor and Stellantis demonstrates a high level of efficiency, opening a new chapter in the global integration of China’s intelligent electric vehicle industry.

“Leveraging Leapmotor’s cutting-edge technology and products, along with Stellantis’ support in areas such as overseas channels, services, and marketing, we hope that users around the world can experience the exceptional driving and riding experience brought by Leapmotor products.

“We believe that this cooperation can give Leapmotor a boost to become a respected world-class intelligent electric vehicle company.”

Headquartered in Amsterdam, the Leapmotor International BV management team is led by CEO Tianshu Xin, a former Stellantis China executive.

It is laying the groundwork for introducing the T03 and C10 in the European markets before expanding to India and Asia Pacific (excluding Greater China), the Middle East and Africa, and South America starting in the fourth quarter 2024.

The shift comes after the Biden administration confirmed it would be imposing 100 per cent tariffs on Chinese brands in the US.

A senior White House official said: “China is producing at a rate and with a trajectory that’s far in excess of any plausible estimate of global demand.

“That is going to flood the global market with supply that undercuts our ability to build productive capacity at home and that of our allies and those of emerging market countries as well. That reduces our supply chain resilience.

“That leaves all of us across the world more vulnerable to economic coercion. And that’s why we’re taking these actions.”

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