Didi, China’s massive ride-sharing company, has been making some moves in the EV space lately.
They now claim to be ‘the world’s largest EV fleet operator’ with 260,000 EVs in their network, which is why they are launching a new charging network to support its drivers.
The move follows a deal with NEVS, formerly SAAB and now an electric car maker, to expand their electric car fleet.
At a sustainable energy summit jointly sponsored by the United Nations and the Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization (GEIDCO) yesterday, Cheng Wei, founder and CEO of Didi Chuxing, announced the new charging network:
“We have started new joint venture projects to build our own EV charging systems. DiDi’s charging networks will not only cover our own fleet. It will also serve families and the public,”
Cheng claims that among its massive fleet of 2 million drivers, already 260,000 of them drive electric vehicles. He has the ambitious goal to bring that number to 1 million EVs by the end of the decade.
“The future of transport is new energy vehicles, and ridesharing will be a key link in promoting new energy on the road,”
Their charging network effort joins the Chinese government’s already extensive EV charging effort through their charging standard. Didi will deploy 12,000 new charging stations across the country. They are also working on an incentive plan for EV buyers to install home charging stations – they are planning to unlock $20 billion in financing for 4.8 million residential charging stations.
It’s not like China is lacking electric vehicle initiatives at this point, but this backing from Didi is great nonetheless.
Ride-sharing companies are becoming increasingly influential in the transport industry and seeing them embracing EVs can make a difference.
On the international front, Uber has a bigger brand and we have seen them make a few moves in the EV space recently, like with deploying 50 new Tesla vehicles in its Dubai fleet and incentivizing its 40,000 drivers in London to switch to electric cars.
But in China, Didi has a quasi-monopoly on ride-sharing since it bought Uber’s operations in the country. Maybe this new commitment to EVs will inspire others in the space to do the same.