With help from Geely.
Electric cars are a force to be reckoned with and are already outselling gas-fed cars in certain countries. Big brands such as Volvo are planning on massively increasing the production of EVs in coming years, and major corporates like Amazon are joining the electric race in an effort to curb global warming, and to look good in front of stockholders and the public at large. The latest corporate giant to jump on the bandwagon is none other than China's search giant Baidu.
The company is planning to link up with auto manufacturer Geely in a joint effort to build a new generation of electric vehicles. Geely has confirmed that the vehicles will be based on its EV-focused platform, Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA). Baidu already operates an autonomous taxi service called Go Robotaxi in cities such as Beijing and Guangzhou.
Baidu has been hard at work developing autonomous driving technology and internet connectivity infrastructure but now plans to dive headfirst into the world of EV production by leveraging Geely's extensive experience in auto manufacturing. Baidu has announced that it would hold a majority stake in the new venture, as well as absolute voting power, while Geely would have a minority stake. Baidu will be a relative latecomer to the EV world, as market leader Tesla continues to forge ahead with exciting new models such as the Cybertruck.
Other corporate giants entering the EV race include Apple, which is currently in talks with Hyundai to develop a range of EV cars that should show its face as soon as 2024. Another Chinese giant, Alibaba, and car manufacturer SAIC Motors have also teamed up to produce their own EVs. "We believe that by combining Baidu's expertise in smart transportation, connected vehicles, and autonomous driving with Geely's expertise as a leading automobile and EV manufacturer, the new partnership will pave the way for future passenger vehicles," said Robin Li, co-founder, and chief executive officer of Baidu. We say the more, the merrier.