NEVS has been accumulating some massive orders for its electric vehicles, but now one of the biggest orders to date has apparently fallen through as Didi reportedly pulls out of the project.
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Last year, we reported that SAAB successor National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) and DiDi Chuxing, China’s Uber, have signed an agreement to collaborate on making electric cars for DiDi’s highly popular ride-sharing network.
Didi already claims to be the ‘world’s largest EV fleet operator’ with 260,000 EVs and plans to reach a million by the end of the decade.
That’s a lot of electric cars to add in a short period of time and the deal with NEVS was supposed to take care of that.
But now reports coming out of Sweden says that NEVS has stopped developing the vehicle after Didi reportedly pulled out of the agreement after receiving a better offer from Chinese auto manufacturer BAIC.
Didi was also supposed to secure the $500 million investment for NEVS to start producing its vehicles in China and while that might still be in play as NEVS says that Didi remains a partner, it doesn’t look like the new ‘D-1’ electric taxi program is still in place.
But it’s not the end of the world for the company which has many other large orders.
Since NEVS launched, its Chinese owners have announced several deals for the company to make massive fleets of electric cars for Chinese companies. NEVS signed a framework deal worth about 8.5 billion crowns ($1 billion) with China Volant Industry Co. (Volinco) for 20,000 electric cars last year and Panda New Energy, a new energy vehicle leasing company in China, ordered 150,000 9-3 Sedan electric vehicles in 2015.
Last year, it received approval to establish production capacity of up to 200,000 electric vehicles per year in China. NEVS said that they expect their car factory in Tianjin to start producing cars by the end of this year.