BYD received approval from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to market an electrical sedan version known as D1 last month, based on government records. Two people told journalists D1 is a purpose-built vehicle for ride-hailing services developed by both companies.
The people, who declined to be called the info is not public, said the companies were hoping to deliver the vehicles to Didi’s fleet associate businesses within this year.
One of the sources said the model will possess sliding door to the perfect side to spare passengers from opening the door and potentially hitting cyclists or pedestrians. The car will also have larger leg-room for back seat passengers.
Shenzhen-based BYD, which can be backed by US investor Warren Buffett, was not immediately available for comment.
Didi, backed by Japan’s SoftBank, which is China’s largest ride-hailing service provider, is creating a swathe of auto-related technologies. It’s launched several joint ventures with established automakers such as Volkswagen, BAIC, and BYD to develop intelligent vehicles and fleet management.
In 2018, Didi formed an alliance with automakers to come up with purpose-built cars for ride-hailing, together with the firm offering its customer and operational skills to automakers needing to create their own ride-hailing solutions in return for design expertise. D1 is the first known model since the announcement was made.
The move underscores how tech businesses, from software makers for self-driving vehicles to car-sharing platforms, are disrupting traditional automakers amid significant changes towards electric vehicles and the pay-per-use model.
Didi is also in the midst of expanding its operations in China with its Chief Executive Officer Cheng Wei setting a objective of finishing 100 million orders a day and attaining 800 million monthly active users worldwide by 2022.
The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh. Editing by Tomasz Janowski and Louise Heavens.
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