(Yicai Global) March 12 -- An Italian startup firm has showcased the world's first 3D-printed new energy vehicle at an industry event held in the eastern Chinese city of Shanghai.
Turin-based Xev Ltd. unveiled its two-seater model named LSEV, which is similar in appearance to Daimler AG's Smart brand, in conjunction with 3D-printer material manufacturer Polymaker Co. at an exhibition at the 3D-Printing Cultural Museum in Shanghai.
The use of 3D-printing means Xev can customize products for individual customers at a substantially lower cost, and the firm aims to commence small-scale production at a facility in Italy's Turin in December. The firm's CEO is Lu Di, former chief designer at Chinese state-owned carmaker JAC Motors, while the co-founder is a local Italian 3D-printing specialist, Dr. Roberto.
The NEV startup's foray into Italy follows its successful bid for the EU-funded Horizon 2020 intelligent electric vehicle project, and it has since received some 7,000 orders for the LSEV model and secured deals with the country's postal service.
Formally opened last June in Shanghai's Baoshan District, the 5,000-square-meter 3D-Printing Cultural Museum functions as an education, research and cultural facility comprising of nine sections including a 3D-printing research center, an additive library and an innovation gallery.