Ford electrifies Chinese ride sharing
Ford Smart Mobility and Zotye Auto have inked a deal to build a new joint venture to provide all-electric vehicles to fleet operators and drivers in China’s ride-hailing sector. The new outfit will work closely with the Zotye-Ford manufacturing JV which will build a range of affordable EVs under a new local brand.
The Zotye-Ford manufacturing project was launched last year, with the two companies agreeing to invest a combined $756m.
The newly announced JV will be located in Zhejiang province and focus on serving the ride-hailing market in Zhejiang, with plans to expand quickly to other Chinese provinces. Zotye is a leading maker of small EVs and was one of the first car makers to produce all-electric vehicles in China. The company sold some 36,000 EVs last year.
Ford says the new JV will also engage with local governments and cities to support the development of integrated transportation solutions covering data connectivity and software systems to improve traffic flows and reduce congestion.
The Chinese e-hailing market is expected to grow at 19% a year through to 2022, with an overall fleet size potentially reaching up to 26 million, according to Boston Consulting Group.