Ford & Zotye to Provide Smart Mobility Solutions for China's Growing Ride-Hailing Market
【Summary】Ford Smart Mobility, the automaker’s subsidiary formed to design, build and invest in emerging mobility services, and China’s Zotye Auto have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to establish an electric vehicle solutions joint venture (JV) for China’s rapidly growing ride-hailing market.
CHANGCHUN -- Ford Smart Mobility, the automaker's subsidiary formed to design, build and invest in emerging mobility services, and China's Zotye Auto have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to establish an electric vehicle solutions joint venture (JV) for China's rapidly growing ride-hailing market.
The two car companies plan to supply ride-hailing fleet operators and drivers with EVs and solutions such as vehicle leasing, data-driven fleet management, in-vehicle digital services, vehicle customization and connectivity.
Zotye Auto board director and Tech-New Group chairman Ying Jianren said: "We are delighted to have signed this MOU today to develop smart mobility solutions for cities in China.
"This underlines the strength of the relationship between Zotye and Ford, and we look forward to working even closer in the future to provide EV fleet management support for ride-hailing services through this JV."
The JV will have a registered capital of $20 million, with each company contributing 50%.
Zotye Auto is one of China's leading automakers in small-sized pure electric passenger vehicles in China. The company delivered nearly 36,000 all-electric vehicles in total last year.
Many ride-hailing operators in China are looking to expand their fleets with electric vehicles. The Boston Consulting Group stated that the local e-hailing market is expected to grow at 19% annually through 2022 and the overall fleet size is expected to reach up to 26 million.
The JV will also collaborate with local governments and cities on the development of data connectivity and software for integrated transportation solutions, to address issues such as traffic congestion and flow, to enhance the passenger experience, and to lay the foundations for V2X and autonomous vehicles. The new JV will initially focus on the ride-hailing market in Zhejiang, with plans to expand to other provinces.
"By providing smart-enabled electric vehicles for the ride-hailing market, this new mobility joint venture will be a key part of the solution for China's cities." said Marcy Klevorn, executive vice president and president of mobility, Ford Motor Company.
In addition, Ford plans to launch at least 15 new electrified vehicles in China by 2025 under the Ford and Lincoln nameplates. The expanded product portfolio will reflect an even stronger emphasis on SUVs, with eight all-new models along with more electric vehicles.
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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