(Bloomberg) -- Farizon Auto, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co.’s new energy commercial vehicle brand, is considering raising as much as $300 million in fresh funds ahead of potential US initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter.

The firm is seeking a valuation of about $4.5 billion in the new round, up from about $3 billion from its fundraising last year, the people said. Farizon is studying the possibility of listing in the US as soon as the end of this year, though no final decision has been made, the people said.

Considerations are at an early stage and details of the new funding round and IPO could still change, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. A representative for Geely declined to comment.

Founded in 2016, Farizon manufactures electric commercial vehicles, buses and coaches, according to Geely Holding’s website. The company in October raised more than $300 million in a pre-A series funding round led by a unit of Singapore-based logistics and real estate giant GLP Pte. Other investors include Citic Securities Co. and GLy Capital Management.

Farizon launched a methanol-fueled heavy truck in 2019, and two years later debuted a new engine that it said cut average annual fuel costs by 18% compared to diesel heavy trucks. The company last year launched an electric truck that adopts autonomous driving technologies. The brand’s cumulative sales in January and February rose 263% on a year-on-year basis, while its alternative-energy-powered light duty truck commands about 42% of market share in China in that particular segment, according to a March 14 press release.

Geely New Energy Commercial Vehicle Group, the division that houses Farizon, is considering an IPO in three to five years, its Chief Executive Officer Mike Fan told Bloomberg News in 2021.

Geely is on a fundraising blitz as the auto giant pursues ambitious goals for its global automotive empire. Electric car brand Lotus Technology agreed to merge with a blank-check company in a transaction that values the combined entity at about $5.4 billion. Smart-car tech startup Ecarx Holdings Inc. and Polestar Automotive Holding UK Plc both debuted in the US market following special purpose acquisition company transactions in the past two years, raising over $1 billion in total. Geely’s premium EV brand Zeekr late last year filed confidentially for a US IPO. 

--With assistance from Chunying Zhang.

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