The BYTON Nanjing plant covers an area of 800,000 square meters, with a total investment of over 1.4 billion Euros (1.5 billion USD). Plant construction, which started in September 2017, is nearing completion. Today the equipment installation and commissioning have begun in five major workshops: stamping, welding, paint, battery and assembly. The plant will begin trial production in the third quarter 2019.
“Our plant in Nanjing incorporates the world’s best equipment and production processes and follows the highest standards in safety and environmentally responsible production. This will allow us to deliver on our promise and commitment to quality. As we move forward to series production by end of the year, our dream of reshaping the future of mobility with our first car – the M-Byte – will become reality”, said Dr. Daniel Kirchert, CEO and Co-Founder of BYTON.
Industry 4.0 plant to ensure top quality
BYTON Nanjing plant is built to industry 4.0 standard factory, using global leading manufacturing equipment and technology:
– The stamping shop, using the industry-top servo press, completes one panel every 3 seconds on average. It will be one of the fastest stamping production lines in China.
– The welding shop, which incorporates 335 welding robots supplied by leading manufacturing equipment provider KUKA, boosts the automation rate to 99%.
– The paint shop is equipped with cutting-edge painting technologies such as a “3 Coating 2 Baking” system and thin film pre-treatment as well as the transverse “Eco-Incure” oven technology – one of the first in China.
– The battery shop will produce and assemble battery packs, designed independently by BYTON. Leading battery maker CATL provides the battery cells and modules, while aluminium maker Constellium supplies the aluminium battery tray.
– Workers at BYTON’s assembly shop will receive special training. They are conducting several months of trial operations before the launch of series production.
Nearly 100 prototypes currently testing on tracks and roads worldwide
BYTON showcased the platform of the M-Byte, which will be the first vehicle to be built on the highly adaptable BYTON Smart EV platform. The Smart EV platform provides an industry-leading overall configuration and optimal chassis structure to maximize in-car space, while exhibiting exceptional manoeuvrability and ride comfort.
The platform of the M-Byte adopts “Dual Virtual Pivot Multi Link Front Suspension” and “Integral Link Rear Suspension”, benchmarking premium cars in the same class. It allows the configuration of large wheel and tire combinations to deliver both comfort and performance. Moreover, the steel-aluminium hybrid bodywork ensures the best combination of cost and performance, making it possible to meet various customer needs at a price tag starting from 300,000 RMB (45,000 USD).
Nearly 100 M-Byte prototypes are already undergoing various tests to make sure, every car produced by BYTON will meet the most stringent safety and quality standards in China, the U.S. and Europe.
BYTON has passed several intensive tests not mandatory by national standards in China. It conducted the North American IIHS 25% small offset crash test and Euro NCAP side pole impact test in China ending up in results exceeding all expectations. The IIHS 25% small offset crash test is considered the most stringent frontal impact test.
Customized interactive in-car system matching industry-leading 48-inch Shared Experience Display (SED)
For Chinese customers BYTON is currently working with Baidu to jointly develop a customized smart voice assistant and map navigation, powered by the Baidu DuerOS which is compatible with BYTON’s advanced interface. More than 90% of the system’s interactive experience and visual style will be customized for BYTON. The in-car map and navigation will offer a safer, more seamless experience than e. g. on smart phones. The user will see an unprecedented overview of route navigation on up to two thirds of the unique 48-inch SED.
BYTON and Baidu also developed a smart in-car voice assistant, which can be used to control windows, air conditioning, audio volume, screen brightness, and more, as well as third-party in-car applications in China.
On the Plant Open Day, BYTON shared the latest progress of its in-car eco-system and revealed its first batch of partners such as Baidu, Ximalaya (audio streaming) and Meituan (shopping). The company will also announce its Chinese and international partners in video streaming, smart home, health, entertainment and other fields in the coming months.
Series C round of fundraising to be completed in mid-year; sales network presence expanding
BYTON is not only progressing on plant construction, R&D, vehicle testing and customer experience to realize its series production goal but is also well on track in sales network development and fundraising.
Following the debut of BYTON Place in Shanghai, the second BYTON Place is scheduled to open in Chongqing in mid-2019, where BYTON’s first service center is also under construction. More stores are expected to open in other Chinese cities in the fourth quarter, which will be followed by key cities in North America and Europe.
BYTON will complete its Series C round of fundraising in mid-2019 with support from multiple investors.
The BYTON M-Byte is scheduled to debut in the third quarter, when details such as pre-sale prices, initial models and major configurations will be announced. BYTON will start the series production of M-Byte and launch in China by the end of this year followed by the U.S. and Europe in 2020.