Geely and Baidu to build EVs under new Ji Yue brand

Chinese technology company Baidu will launch its first electric model at the end of the year together with carmaker Geely under the new Ji Yue brand. The Ji Yue 01, however, is Jidu Auto’s electric SUV, previously known as the Robo-01. Jidu Auto was the name of the electric car joint venture between Baidu and Geely until now. UPDATE

According to an official statement, Geely and Baidu have established the new Ji Yue brand, which will begin production and deliveries of its first model in the fourth quarter of 2023. The Ji Yue 01 will be built by Geely and use the Geely SEA platform. Ji Yue also plans to build its own charging network in China.

According to Chinese CN EV News, the Ji Yue 01 has already been added to the catalogue for registration in China, and the photos show that it indeed is Jidu Auto’s electric SUV, previously known as the Robo-01. There is no official explanation as to why Geely and Baidu appear to be dropping the Jidu Auto name. However, the above-mentioned portal writes that the JV “hasn’t made any big moves in the past six months, including missing the Shanghai auto show, raising questions about what’s going on with the Baidu car-making arm.”

The vehicle approach has stayed the same: the flagship 01 is expected to lead the way in smart car development. The electric drive in the form of Geely’s SEA hardware platform is thus only the basis for the autonomous driving functions and connectivity software that Baidu intends to contribute. The last news from the previous joint venture Jidu Auto dates back to February. At the time, it was said that the Robo-01 had been undergoing winter testing in four cities in northern China since December 2022.

Update 24 October 2023

Geely and Baidu have started selling the first model of their new Jiyue brand in China. The Jiyue 01 electric SUV uses Geely’s SEA platform and is now available at prices starting at 259,900 yuan (equivalent to about 33,300 euros). Series production of the Jiyue 01 started in September at Geely’s Ningbo plant, where the Zeekr 001 and Zeekr 009 are also built.

The company has posted several photos on social media of several Jiyue 01s outside the factory and on car transporters. Deliveries are expected to begin this month. The brand has locations in over 40 Chinese cities.

Update 01 December 2023

The price war for electric cars in China continues: After Geely and Baidu only started selling the first model of their new Jiyue brand around a month ago, the first significant price reduction has already been made. The base price of the Jiyue 01 electric SUV has been reduced by 30,000 yuan, which is equivalent to just under 4,000 euros. The Jiyue 01 Max with a 71.4 kWh battery now starts from 219,900 yuan (approx. 28,500 euros), the Jiyue 01 Max Performance with 100 kWh from 309,900 yuan (approx. 40,200 euros). (both update), (Update II)


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