JINAN - Chinese automaker Lifan launched an affordable electric car on Thursday with prices starting at 43,800 yuan ($7,110), six percent of the cost of the Tesla Model S.
The price is less than one fifth of Lifan's first electric car, the 620EV, which hit the market in 2010 priced at 249,800 yuan.
The Lifan 320E was unveiled at a motor show in the eastern city of Jinan. The vehicle uses lead-acid cells, has a maximum speed of 67 km per hour and a range of 110 km per charge.
The 620 EV is sold only in Shanghai, has a maximum speed of 120 km per hour and a range of 200 km per charge. The Tesla Model S with lithium-ion cells also has a maximum speed of 200 km per hour but a range in excess of 500 km per charge.
Lifan Industry (Group) Co Ltd is expected to introduce two more electric cars by the end of this year, the 520E and 100E to cater for various markets, said Guan Fengjin, executive vice president of the company.
China is giving policy support, including tax exemptions, to new energy vehicles to save energy and combat pollution. There are price subsidies and requirement for government departments to buy more new energy cars.
New energy cars have been exempt from a 10-percent purchase tax since Sept 1. The tax break will remain in force till the end of 2017.