Auto giants launch EV-sharing platform in China

Chinese ride-sharing firm Didi Chuxing (Didi) has partnered with 12 automakers, including Geely Auto and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, to launch a new app-based, electric-vehicle-sharing platform.

Didi is the major ride-sharing platform in China, carrying out more than 20 million journeys each day. The company has joined forces with 12 automakers to launch the “new energy car sharing system for the future”.

A network of strategic partners has been set up by the Chinese company, comprising mainly of Chinese automakers. BAIC, BJEV, BYD, Chang’an Automobile Group, Chery Automobile Group, Dongfeng Passenger Vehicle, Geely Auto, Hawtai Motor, JAC Motors and Zotye Auto are all part of the network alongside global manufacturers Kia, Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi.

The network will focus on vehicles that have proven safety and energy-efficiency track records and will predominately include electric vehicles (EVs). Didi will also work with other car-sharing firms and infrastructure operators to ensure that charge points and refueling stations can match vehicle demand by integrating Artificial Intelligence and autonomous network solutions.

According to a study by GM Insights, the global car-sharing market is expected to increase by one third annually between 2017 and 2034, with the growth rate in China exceeding 40%. Not only is China one of the largest markets for car-sharing, but it also surpassed the US in 2015 as the top market for EVs.

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers notes that 200 Chinese manufacturers built 379,000 electric and hybrid vehicles in 2015, four times more than 2014. Sales of these vehicles quadrupled in 2015 to 331,000, mainly spurred on by welcoming subsidies to manufacturers and consumers. The Government has since set a goal to sell seven million zero or low-emission vehicles annually by 2025.

The Chinese Government confirmed that a cap-and-trade policy would be introduced in two years time, that requires automakers to obtain a new-energy vehicle (NEV) credit score of 10% or higher. This credit score would then be extended to at least 12% by 2020.

UK plans

In the UK, plans are underway to increase the amount of charging infrastructure for EVs. Chargemaster, which projects the near-50,000 plug-in car registrations in 2017 would jump to 70,000 new cars sold in 2018, has announced plans to add to the UK’s largest public charging network.

The company will increase the rate of rollout for its charging network, adding 2,000 new charge points in 2018, including around 400 rapid chargers.

Chargemaster’s chief executive David Martell added: “The POLAR network will maintain its position as the UK’s largest public charging network, providing convenient and reliable charging for EV drivers across the country.

“Over 40,000 drivers already rely on our network, which gives them access to over 40% of all public charging points on UK-wide networks, backed up with our dedicated 24/7 customer support.”

Matt Mace

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