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China's Evergrande delivers first electric vehicles

FILE PHOTO: Headquarters of China Evergrande Group in Shenzhen

BEIJING (Reuters) - China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group Ltd has started deliveries of its Hengchi 5 electric vehicle, with the first 100 customers getting their cars on Saturday, it said on its official Wechat account.

The company, a unit of heavily indebted property developer China Evergrande Group, launched production of the vehicle at a plant in the northern city of Tianjin last month.

Evergrande is aiming to shift the group's primary business from real estate to the automobile venture over the next decade, with plans to make 1 million vehicles by 2025.

It has said it would start mass production of its second EV model in the first half of 2023 and a third in the latter half of next year.

The Hengchi 5 sport-utility vehicle sells for 179,000 yuan ($24,690.00).

($1 = 7.2499 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Jenny Wang and Dominique Patton; Editing by Robert Birsel)