Chinese electric car startup WM Motor started volume delivery of its first model, the EX5 SUV, late last month, marking its first foray into the country's booming market for new energy vehicles.
"This is a milestone for WM Motor, and the first step in our long journey ahead," said the company's chairman and CEO Freeman Shen.
Backed by internet giant Tencent, WM Motor was established in 2015. It has a plant capable of producing 200,000 vehicles in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province.
"We planned three years ago to deliver our vehicles in September 2018, and we made it," said Shen, who is a former senior executive at Geely and its Swedish subsidiary Volvo.
"We are the first startup in China and even globally to deliver on time," he added.
WM Motor said it had received more than 4,000 orders so far and expects to deliver at least 10,000 vehicles this year.
The EX5, which the carmaker said was designed based on potential customer feedback, made its premiere late last year.
It is available in three variants and can travel up to 460 km on one charge. Prices range from 186,550 yuan to 247,300 yuan.
WM will launch two more models, the EX5 Pro and EX6, in 2019 and expects total sales that year to exceed 100,000 vehicles.
Its goal is to produce affordable new energy vehicles that offer a satisfying driving experience so as to better promote the sector within China, Shen said. He added that WM also aims to reshape the connection between carmaker, drivers and vehicles.
"We would like to reframe such things as automotive financing, car insurance, vehicle maintenance, used car transactions, car sharing and used battery utilization," Shen said.
China has been the world's largest new energy vehicle market since 2015.
There were 777,000 such cars sold in the country last year, accounting for 2.6 percent of total vehicle sales, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
The association expects 1 million new energy vehicles to be sold this year.