GEELY ELECTRIC CAR STRATEGY
Geely Electric Vehicles strategy is centered around its Blue Geely Initiative. The plan aims to change the company’s lineup from internal-combustion engines to alternative energy which includes EVs, hybrids, and plug-in hybrids, hydrogen and metal fuel cells. Of the 90 percent of its sales which it aims to electrify by 2020, it anticipated that 65 percent would be hybrids, and 35 percent will be pure EVs. The following steps will see Geely models based on the Compact Modular Architecture it’s developing with its subsidiary Volvo. Geely partnered with go-cart company, Kandi Technologies to develop the popular Kandi Pand (K11) and Cyclone (K17). Geely owns 100% of the iconic London Taxi Company. In 2017 Geely and London Taxi Company opened a 20,000 dedicated electric vehicle plant in Antsy, Coventry to manufacture extended-range electric vehicle taxies and Light Commercial Vehicles.
Geely will bring a new EMGRAND EV and EMGRAND PHEV to market in 2017. There is also talk of the EMGRAND MINI (EMGRAND X1) as an EV.
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GEELY ELECTRIC CARS IN THE NEWS
2018 Week 9 - Confusion and Concern after Geely buys Daimler share
The Chinese auto sector is getting ever confusing after this weeks announcement that Geely‘s owner Li Shufu, one of China’s top 10 billionaires, amassed a 10% stake in Daimler, making him the single largest shareholder in one of Germany’s crown jewels. The transaction comes shortly after Daimler’s approval to acquire around 5% in Geely competitor BAIC BJEV, Daimlers partner to develop electric vehicles in China. Daimler is also a JV shareholder with BYD in the EV manufacturer Denza. Geely already owns Volvo which competes with Mercedes on passenger vehicles and trucks. The reasoning behind the acquisition in Daimler by Li Shufu is to force an alliance on the development of electric and self-driving vehicles and to gain access to Daimler’s technology. The acquisition by Geely in Daimler could very well put pressure on the German company’s partnership with BAIC. Volvo Trucks dropped the chief executive of Geely’s Volvo Cars from its board within a day from the announcement. The Swedish truckmaker cites competition concerns with rival Daimler as the reason behind the decision.
Germany tightened its rules on foreign takeovers after a series of deals by Chinese company’s gaining them access to German technology. The string of transactions is in an environment where Chinese companies are becoming increasingly confident and assertive while western companies are prohibited from acquiring controlling ownership of Chinese rivals. The stealth transaction by Li Shufu, the son of a farmer, is under investigation as he surprised the market due to not disclosing breaching the 3 and 5% thresholds as required by German law.
The transaction is highlighting concerns by the West that China is gaining access to proprietary technical know-how, which has up to now been one of the regions aces in international trade. The trend is not just limited to auto companies, Chinese tech giant Tencent acquired a 5% stake in Tesla in 2017 while at the same time investing in electric and autonomous technologies through investments in NIO and Weima. Although the Tencent shareholding does not allow the company direct access to Tesla’s IP, it still provides the company access to Tesla’s strategy and business decisions. Tencent also partnered with GAC recently on the development of self-driving technology. Another Chinese auto company that bought into western technology is SAIC which acquired British icon MG.
2018 Week 4 - Geely and VIA Motors agrees to develop electric trucks
Geely and US-based VIA Motors entered into a JV partnership to develop range extended medium-duty electric trucks for the Chinese, North-American and Latin American markets.
VIA Motors develops and markets extended-range electric (eREV) and all-electric (EV) power-train systems, incorporating industry-leading VIA developed vehicle software and control systems technology, which provides clean energy solutions for most vehicle classes from light duty through Class 8. VIA’s vehicle integration capability, at both production facilities in Utah and Mexico, provides a range of commercial vehicles to meet zero emissions requirements. VIA vehicles are marketed under the VTRUXtm brand and VIA power-train systems V-Drivetm brand.
The JV targets 2019 as the launch date for its first truck in China and the America’s. The JV makes provision for the co-development of medium-duty trucks by VIA Motors and Geely New Energy Commercial Vehicles (“GCV”) which include a technology transfer of VIA software and control systems.
2017 Week 29 - Geely and Volvo to create EV tech JV
The Swedish carmaker, Volvo, and the Chinese company, Geely is fostering deeper relationships in the worlds largest market for electric vehicles. In a press release by Volvo this week it was revealed that the companies would establish a new joint venture technology company to share existing and future technologies. We have seen this cooperative trend in China for the last couple of months, which is a departure from previous JVs between international and Chinese companies. In the past international automakers were forced by law to enter into JVs with Chinee companies to be able to sell their vehicles, which lead to mostly older generation models being dished up to the Chinese consumer as the international partners tried to protect their IP.
The JV company will be owned 50/50 by Geely and Volvo with its HQ in China and a subsidiary in Gothenburg, Sweden. The Memorandum of Understanding agreed to on the 20th of July between Volvo, Geely and newly formed LYNK & CO determined that the companies will share vehicle architecture and engine technologies via cross-licensing arrangements of technologies managed by the new joint venture. The IP for the technology will remain with the company that developed it, but the technology itself will be available for use by Volvo, Geely Auto, and LYNK & CO, via license agreements. Volvo Cars and Geely already share technology, most notably the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) which is being used by Volvo Cars for its soon-to-be-announced smaller range of 40 series cars and by LYNK & CO.
Separately, it is also announced that Volvo will acquire a minority shareholding in LYNK & CO.
2017 Week 12 - Geely and London Taxi Co opens EV plant in UK
Geely‘s London Taxi Company this week opened a dedicated 20,000 unit per year electric vehicle plant in the UK, bringing Geely‘s investment in the company to £325 million. The plant located in Antsy, Coventry is the first all-new vehicle manufacturing facility constructed in the UK for the last 10-years. The investment by Geely, the second investment from China in the UK sector over the last two weeks, will create more than 1,000 jobs, of which 230 will be engineering jobs. A couple of weeks back Shanghai-listed Far East Smarter Energy Group announced an investment in UK-based Detroit Electric for the manufacturing of the SP:01 EV, creating 400 jobs.
The taxi EV manufactured at the plant undergoes stringent testing, including being exposed to extreme weather conditions and covers over 500,000km / 310,000 miles. The London Taxi Company‘s research and development team of around 200 people based at Antsy have been developing the company’s lightweight EV platform, which together with Volvo‘s electric car powertrain provides the basis for an ultra low emission commercial vehicle. Volvo, also owned by Geely, providing further technical experience. The commercial launch is in the 4th quarter 2017 for the UK market and 2018 for the international market.
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China’s 2018 batch of new EV models have some surprisingly good cars threatening Western automakers still grappling how to catch-up to the increased popularity of EVs. While big auto plans to bring new models to market in 2020 China is already pushing out large amounts of new EV models.