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Electrical equipment maker and engineering firm Meidensha Corp. will start producing electric vehicle motors in China in 2021, anticipating growing local demand for emission-free cars.

Meiden Hangzhou Drive Systems Co., a wholly owned unit, plans to make 170,000 motors a year, a spokeswoman said Friday.

The Chinese subsidiary is the Japanese firm’s first overseas production base for EV motors, she said.

The local arm in the eastern coastal city of Hangzhou will start building the plant in November with completion scheduled for July 2020. It is scheduled to start operating in March 2021.

Eventually the plant will also produce motors and inverters for plug-in hybrid cars, the spokeswoman said.

The Tokyo-based firm said it will inject ¥4.1 billion into the Hangzhou unit with an initial capital outlay of ¥150 million to build the plant.

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