National Electric Vehicle Sweden (Nevs) announced Thursday that it has struck a $12 billion deal with Panda New Energy that will supply the Chinese leasing company with 150,000 electric cars.
While the Chinese-owned automaker, formerly known as Saabs, has faced major financial problems since it bought Saab's assets in 2012 after bankruptcy, the new deal brings about a brighter future for the firm, .
"This is a strategic collaboration for Nevs not only in terms of the numbers of vehicles, but it is also an important step to implement our vision and new business plan," Nevs Vice Chairman Stefan Tilk said in a statement.
Panda will receive the 9-3 electric sedans by the end of 2020 as part of the agreement, which also includes 100,000 other vehicle products and services "from companies associated with Nevs and its owners," .
Nevs, which is owned by China's National Modern Energy Holdings, Tianjin Binhai Hi-tech industrial Development Area (THT) and the Beijing State Research Information Technology Co., aims to produce 100-percent electric cars for the Chinese market, even though it only made cars during a short period from late 2013 to May 2014.
Shenzhen-based Panda, which works with chauffeured car service platforms in China, plans on becoming one of the biggest electric car leasing firms in the world, AFP noted.
China, which has been experiencing severe air pollution, still has a small electric car market, as only 87,530 electric or hybrid cars were sold in the country in the first nine months of 2015, which makes up less than one percent of all of China's car sales. However, industry association CAAM noted that the country managed to sell three times more EVs this year than it did in 2014.