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Didi Chuxing and oil giant BP team up to build electric vehicle charging infrastructure in China

By Catherine Shu

Ride-sharing and transportation platform Didi Chuxing announced today that it has formed a joint venture with BP, the British gas, oil and energy supermajor. to build electric vehicle charging infrastructure in China. The charging stations will be available to Didi and non-Didi drivers.

The news of Didi and BP’s joint venture comes one week after Didi announced that it had received funding totaling $600 million from Toyota Motor Corporation. As part of that deal, Didi and Toyota Motor set up a joint venture with GAC Toyota Motor to provide vehicle-related services to Didi drivers.

BP’s first charging site in Guangzhou has already been connected to XAS (Xiaoju Automobile Solutions), which Didi spun out in April 2018 to put all its vehicle-related services into one platform.

XAS is part of Didi Chuxing’s evolution from a ride-sharing company to a mobility services platform, with its services available to other car, transportation and logistics companies. In June, Didi also opened its ride-sharing platform to other companies, enabling its users to request rides from third-party providers in a bid to better compete with apps like Meituan Dianping and AutoNavi, which aggregate several ride-hailing services on their platforms.

Didi says it now offers ride-sharing, vehicle rental and delivery services to 550 million users and covers 1,000 cities through partnerships with Grab, Lyft, Ola, 99 and Bolt (Taxify). The company also claims to be the world’s largest electric vehicle operator with more than 600,000 EVs on its platform.

It also has partnerships with automakers and other car-related companies like Toyota, FAW, Dongfeng, GAC, Volkswagen and Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi to collaborate on a platform that uses new energy, AI-based and mobility technologies.

In a press statement, Tufan Erginbilgic, the CEO of BP’s Downstream business, said “As the world’s largest EV market, China offers extraordinary opportunities to develop innovative new businesses at scale and we see this as the perfect partnership for such a fast-evolving environment. The lessons we learn here will help us further expand BP’s advanced mobility business worldwide, helping drive the energy transition and develop solutions for a low carbon world.”

Toyota invests $600 million in Didi, with the two setting up a new joint venture for driver services

By Catherine Shu

Didi Chuxing announced today that it has received new investment totaling $600 million from Toyota Motor Corporation. As part of the deal, the two companies will also set up a joint venture with GAC Toyota Motor to provide vehicle-related services to drivers on Didi’s ride-sharing platform. GAC Toyota itself is a joint venture between Toyota and GAC Group, one of China’s largest automakers.

Nikkei Asian Review first broke news of the deal at the end of May, reporting that Toyota was considering a $550 million investment in Didi and setting up a new mobility-services company in China.

Didi and Toyota announced last year 2018 that it would work together on services that use technology developed by Toyota for its mobility and vehicle-sharing platform, which includes autonomous driving software, a fully electric battery and the “e-Palette,” or modules that can be used to build autonomous vehicles of different sizes, ranging from small ones for deliveries to passenger buses.

Toyota has also backed other vehicle-sharing companies, including Uber and JapanTaxi.

DiDi’s partnership with Toyota is one of several partnerships it has made with car manufacturers and other vehicle-related companies as part of its D-Alliance, including Toyota, Volkswagen, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, as well as major Chinese automakers like FAW, Dongfeng and GAC, with the intention of expanding its reach beyond its ride-hailing services by creating a platform that uses new energy, AI-based and mobility technology.

Didi recently announced that it will open its ride-hailing platform to third-party service providers as part of agreements with FAW, Dongfeng and GAC, three of China’s largest auto makers.

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