The Uber of China, DiDi Chuxing has gathered 12 carmakers to set up an electric car sharing service together. The partnership includes BYD, local partners of Ford and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance among mayor others.
The Chinese ride hailing conglomerate had taken over Uber’s business in China in 2016 and has since established itself as the largest such service in the People’s Republic.
DiDi’s new platform joins twelve carmakers, namely BAIC BJEV, BYD, Changan, Chery, Dongfeng, FAW, Geely, Hawtai, JAC, Kia, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi and Zotye as strategic partners. Together they are to deliver a fleet of electric cars to share and book via the Didi app.
Under the partnership, DiDi however will mainly be responsible for the network and data rather than a fleet as it plans to open its platform to automakers’ own sharing services. Furthermore, the platform will introduce private and corporate partners to auto-related finance and insurance services as well, according to a company statement.
Apart from the carmakers, DiDi will also work closely with other car-sharing services, such as rental companies, or infrastructure operators and after-sales service providers.
The Chinese company is making an early move in a shifting market. Over in Europe, Daimler and BMW are believed to preparing a merger of their Car2Go and DriveNow service. BMW took full ownership of DriveNow from Sixt just a week ago (we reported) in order to open the doors for cooperation.
A prime example is Madrid where electric car fleets by Renault, Peugeot and other mayor carmakers have turned the city into an EV hotspot as an answer to the Spanish capitals crackdown on emissions (we reported). More cities and subsequently electric car sharing offers are to follow suit not only in Europe.
Toyota has launched innovative schemes with ultra compact electric vehicles, the Toyota Coms, first at home in Japan and most recently set up the ha:mo service in Bangkok as well. Toyota is also no stranger to DiDi as the service is one of the launch partners for the Japanese’s e-Palette vision, an autonomous city shuttle.
Volkswagen too already entertains a partnership with Didi reportedly as it hopes to supply the car sharer with vehicles.
For the latest and largest alliance forged by DiDi to date, details remain scarce though apart from forming what looks to shape up to be a deep market penetration, if not domination of ride hailing and car sharing in China.