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Brazilian Billionaire Sells Tech Company to Fund EV Startup

This origin story sounds familiar.

The Lecar Model 459.
The Lecar Model 459.

Flávio Figueiredo Assis is an entrepreneur who wants to make history with the first Brazilian-made electric car. Assis hopes to change the world's opinion of Brazil, and his inspiration is billionaire Elon Musk.

Assis is the founder of Lecard, a food card administrator that reached yearly total sales of USD $1 billion. In 2022, he sold the company and created Lecar, Brazil's first electric car manufacturer. 

Lecar currently employs a team of 30 engineers, many with experience from Ford, Toyota and Nissan. The factory is being set up in the southern region of the country. 

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The LECAR 459, the company's first vehicle, will have batteries sourced from Winston Battery, which also supplies VW and Hyundai. The manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) is expected to be $55,000, with a range of 400 km (249 miles) per charge. The company also plans to launch an urban version, the LECAR POP, with an estimated price of $20,000, 250 km (155 miles) per charge and capacity for five passengers.

The company is privately held, but the expectation is to go public by 2025. Assis's planned investment is $3 billion. 

However, the car will first go to London where it will undergo a series of approvals for impact, aerodynamics and safety in simulator assessments at the New Car Assessment Program for Latin America (LATIN NCAP). If all goes according to plan, the first vehicles will be manufactured in December. In 2025, the company hopes to produce 300 cars per month, with revenues of $200 million.

In five years, LECAR intends to produce 50,000 vehicles annually, with $15 billion in revenue. The company also intends to create a subscription plan. The base subscription for the 36-month lease plan will be offered for approximately 3% of the sales price for a monthly mileage of 1,000 km (621 miles).

Another fundamental initiative is charging infrastructure. The company plans to install fast charging stations on the ten largest highways in Brazil, totaling 36,437 km (22,640 miles). With this plan, any electric vehicle can travel across the entire country, according to the company. Stations will be located every 200 kilometers (124 miles).

In addition to operating throughout the national territory, the entrepreneur plans to test markets in the U.S., France, Italy and Monaco.

Assis also plans to create a battery cell factory. He says, "We have 97% of the minerals that make up battery cells in our country."

Flávio Figueiredo Assis, founder of Lecar, the first electric car manufacturer in Brazil.Flávio Figueiredo Assis, founder of Lecar, the first electric car manufacturer in Brazil.Lecar

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