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Chinese billionaire Li Hejun, chairman of solar-equipment manufacturer Hanergy Holding, is expanding his business into the auto sector.
Hanergy will launch five models of solar-powered cars in October, according to a Feb.2 post on the company’s website. The models can run up to 100 km after four hours of charging, according to the statement.
“Hanergy is working with three foreign partners and two domestic firms to develop solar-powered vehicles,” the firm says in the statement. “The market potential is huge.”
The company is also partnering with Tesla Motors in building a “supercharger network.” Hanergy in April delivered two photovoltaic charging stations for the Palo Alto, California-based electric car firm, as Elon Musk continues to invest in charging stations in China.
Li is not the only Chinese billionaire with an ambition in the country’s new-energy vehicle market. Jia Yueting, chairman and founder of Leshi Internet Information & Technology, a manufacturer of Internet televisions and set-top video boxes, is seeking license to build electric cars. Wanxiang Group, an auto parts manufacturer headed by billionaire Lu Guanqiu, in February acquired electric car pioneer Fisker Automotive for $149.2 million.
The sector is spearheaded by billionaire Wang Chuanfu, chairman of the Warren Buffett-backed electric cars company BYD. The company is planning to roll out plug-in hybrid SUVs later this year.
Li Hejun, who last year published his new book China’s New Energy Revolution, currently ranks No.5 on the China Rich List, with a wealth of $ 12.2 billion. Lu Guanqiu is No.16 with a fortune of $ 5.1 billion. Wang ranks No.22 with a net worth of $ 3.6 billion. Jia Yueting ranks No.78 on the list with a net worth of $2.2 billion.