Electric vehicles are going mainstream with automobile companies transitioning to eco-friendly alternatives for global consumers. Automobile giants like Tesla, Tata, Maruti and Hyundai have already established several partnerships to give a boost to the global market of electric vehicles. A 2018 report released by JP Morgan Research states the growth in electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) is climbing and by 2025, EVs and HEVs will account for an estimated 30 per cent of all vehicle sales.
In terms of production and sales of electric cars, no other nation comes close to China. The report predicts that by 2020, the country is expected to account for a staggering 59 per cent of global sales before easing slightly to 55 per cent by 2025.
The EV battle has become more exciting and now the Chinese ride-hailing app Didi Chuxing has joined the revolution. The transportation platform recently announced a new joint venture with Beijing Electric Vehicle Co., a unit of state-owned BAIC.
Headquartered in Beijing, Didi Chuxing provides services, including taxi hailing, private car hailing, social ride-sharing, bus, designated driving, enterprise solutions, bike sharing and food delivery to users in China via a smartphone application. Didi leverages its big data-driven artificial intelligence capabilities to promote the transformation and upgrading of the taxi and bus industries and help cities develop smart transportation solutions. It develops intelligent driving projects and expands business in new energy vehicle industry, along with its acceleration of internationalization.
Through this joint venture, BAIC-Xiaoju New Energy Auto Technology Co. Ltd (“JingJu”), China’s largest EV maker, BAIC aims to combine their strengths in new energy fleet operation and AI transportation solutions to develop next-generation connected-car systems. Jingju is a key component of a Didi-BAIC strategic partnership formed in a growing alliance between Didi and auto-industry players. Didi started partnership programs with automakers and fleet operators in 2016, and launched the Didi Auto Alliance, an industry-chain partnership network in April 2018. Xiaoju Automobile Solutions was soon created to build out a collaborative driver/car-owner service platform through integrated auto-finance, leasing, trading, charging and refueling, and maintenance operations.
Leading the Energy Revolution
With the support of policymakers, China is accelerating its systemic transition to new energy vehicles. BAIC has announced plans to stop the manufacturing and sale of gas-driven car models by 2025. Today, close to 400,000 new energy vehicles are registered with Didi in the world’s largest shared EV network, many through the company’s partnerships with leading EV manufacturers, including BYD.
To build a sustainable and more robust shared mobility ecosystem, XAS is also attracting original equipment manufacturers (OEM), dealers and independent fleet operators to put their fleets on Didi’s open car-sharing program to share Didi’s scale of operation, service standards and data capabilities. XAS now serves drivers/car-owners on Didi and beyond through the main Didi app and a separate XAS app.