CHANGCHUN, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- China's automaker FAW Group on Sunday began selling the first electric model of its iconic Hongqi brand to get a slice of the country's booming new energy vehicle market.
The Hongqi E-HS3, a pure electric sport utility vehicle model, is priced between 225,800 yuan (around 32,000 U.S. dollars) to 265,800 yuan, said the carmaker.
The new model has a range of up to 407 km under the New European Driving Cycle, and it takes only around 15 minutes to charge from 30 percent to 80 percent.
The first car of Hongqi, or Red Flag, was made in 1958. It is one of China's iconic sedan brands and its vehicles have been used for parades at national celebrations.
The company has been actively exploring the private car market in recent years to reverse lackluster sales due partly to the lack of new models and shops.
In the first half of this year, more than 33,000 Hongqi vehicles were sold, up 255 percent year on year and outnumbering the total sales of 2018.
Xu Liuping, chairman of FAW Group, said Hongqi will release up to 17 new models, including several electric models, by 2025.
To expand its sales network, Hongqi has built more than 100 experience centers in major cities and regions across the country.