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Walking dead
The Fisker Karma Courtesy: Fisker Automotive

Another Electric Car Factory Is Coming to China

Aug 08, 2016

Electric car startup Karma Automotive, and its Chinese owner, appear to be planning to build a factory to make some of its cars in China, and could use that facility to revive a planned two-door electric car.

Karma Automotive is the reincarnation of the former Fisker Automotive, which was backed by Silicon Valley investors and went bankrupt after struggling to deliver electric cars. The company was partly controversial because it lost $139 million in federal loans from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Chinese auto parts giant Wanxiang bought up Fisker's assets about two years ago, rebranded and relaunched the company, and now plans to sell its first luxury electric car, the Revero, later this year. Wanxiang was founded by Chinese billionaire Lu Guanqiu.

See also: Electric Car Maker Fisker Has a New Name

Bloomberg reports that Wanxiang filed an application for an environmental review for a $375 million factory in Hangzhou, China that could make as many as 50,000 electric cars per year. According to the report, the application says the bulk of those planned cars could be the lower-cost electric car, named the Atlantic, which is a car the former Fisker had planned to build years ago but was unable to before it filed for bankruptcy.

Karma Automotive already has a factory in Moreno Valley, Calif. that is supposed to be able to make 3,000 of its luxury Revero cars per year. The company's headquarters are in Costa Mesa, Calif., and it also has an office in Troy, Michigan.

For more on Fisker's original car, watch this Fortune video:

If Karma Automotive ends up making substantial cars, particularly the Atlantic, in China, it could prove controversial. U.S. taxpayer funds aided in the development of the Fisker Atlantic. Formerly called Project Nina, the car was originally supposed to be built in Delaware and bring jobs to the state.

Karma Automotive didn't respond to requests for comment.

But it's not surprising that Wanxiang, or even Karma Automotive, would want to make some of its electric cars in China. After all, Wanxiang is a huge player in the country, and the Chinese government is providing ample support to boost the development of electric cars domestically.

See also: Uber Had No Way Out of China, Except Through a Merger With Didi

Bloomberg reports that there are more than 200 Chinese companies building 4,000 new electric car models. The government plans to give out new licenses for electric car production to non-traditional auto makers in the country, and Wanxiang is expected to receive one.

Karma Automotive is just one new electric car startup that has dual Chinese and U.S. ambitions. A company called Faraday Future is funded by Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting and his online video company LeEco, and plans to build an electric car factory in Nevada. Another one is Atieva, which plans to build an electric sedan by 2018.

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NextEV is a Shanghai-based electric car company with offices in Silicon Valley, which has raised hundreds of millions of dollars from Chinese investors Tencent, Hillhouse Capital and the Chinese arm of VC firm Sequoia Capital. Cisco vet Padmasree Warrior joined NextEV as their U.S. CEO last year.

Looking ahead, Karma Automotive's Revero could compete with Tesla's (tsla) Model S electric sedan. Fisker's original Karma electric car drew a lot of interest from auto and eco enthusiasts, and included customers like Leonardo DiCaprio, Colin Powell, Al Gore, and Justin Bieber.

Updated to clarify that Wanxiang filed the application to make cars using Karma Automotive's technology.

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