Chinese ride-hailer DiDi Chuxing announced Wednesday a partnership with a group of 12 automakers from home and abroad to launch an “open new energy car-sharing system” as part of the company’s wider push to ride the wave of the electric vehicle (EV) trend through working closely with traditional automobile makers, which are also carefully exploring the new terrain.
The group includes homegrown BAIC BJEV, BYD, Geely, Chang’an and South Korean KIA Motors as well as French-Japanese Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi.
Per DiDi data disclosed earlier this year, it runs over 7.4 billion rides for 450 million passengers across 400 Chinese cities in 2017, or 20 million rides per day. The Beijing based company accounts for more than 60% of the global car-hailing rides in 2017.
Ride-hailing services like DiDi, Uber and Singapore’s Grab, partaking in a broader wave of worldwide share economy trend, has been gradually changing consumers’ mindset about car ownership and usage. More and more people are now getting used to the idea of simply hailing a car from an app instead of actually owning one.
Just like DiDi claimed in its yesterday’s announcement that app-based on-demand car-sharing is increasing an important complement to car ownership. As a matter of fact, Didi is playing down the significance of what the change of consumer behavior could do to the traditional automobile sector to avoid car makers’ hostility.
The fact is, the global car-sharing market is expected to keep growing at a fast pace in the upcoming eight years. In China, according to market researcher GM Insights, the market is expected to grow at a more than 40% annualized growth over the same period.
In addition to working with car manufacturers, DiDi said it would also team up with other car-sharing services, rental companies, infrastructure operators and after-sales service providers as well as leverage on its AI strengthens and national network in an effort to benefit and empower the entire industry chain by integrating all sorts of automobile-related resources in a new, open and collaborative ecosystem.
Didi said it would open its platform to car markers’ own sharing services, and the platform will also provide cars, car financing and insurance services to individuals and corporate partners.
It sounds like, car makers could approach the platform as a marketing avenue to sell their EV models.
China, like many other countries, is urging its car makers to produce supposedly greener EV cars in the midst of growing environmental concern. The past year saw local car makers sell 777,000 new energy vehicles, a 53 percent increase from a year ago.