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Baidu-Geely Smart EV Joint Venture Jidu Auto Raises $400m

Jidu, an electric vehicle (EV) joint venture between Baidu and Geely, said it would deliver its mass-produced “robot” EVs in 2023


Geely chairman Li Shufu poses next to a Xingyue SUV at Geely headquarters in Hangzhou. Photo: Reuters.

 

Jidu Auto said on Wednesday it has raised nearly $400 million from search engine company Baidu and Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group in a new funding round.

The electric vehicle (EV) joint venture between Baidu and Geely said in a statement that it would deliver its mass-produced “robot” EVs in 2023.

The venture plans to release its first concept car at the Beijing Auto Show in April, followed by mass production and delivery by 2023, the statement added.

Jidu’s announcement followed Baidu’s approval for commercial operations of its autonomous car service in Beijing.

The latest funding comes 10 months after Jidu raised $300 million in its first round, in March 2021.

According to China media reports, Jidu will build a ‘smart car’ based on Geely’s newly developed pure electric template, known as the Haohan Sustainable Experience Architecture.

At the same time, Baidu artificial intelligence, Apollo automatic driving, Baidu’s mapping and other core technologies will be integrated into the vehicle’s design, according to Wang Weibao, head of Jidu ‘intelligent driving’.

Last week, Geely signed an agreement to launch a new collaboration with France’s Renault Group to bring fuel-efficient hybrid electric vehicles and traditional internal combustion engine models to the South Korean market as well as for export sales.

The new vehicles will be made at the Renault-Samsung facility in Busan with production forecast to begin in 2024.

 

  • Iris Hong

 

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Iris Hong

Iris Hong is a senior reporter for the China desk, and has special interests in fintech, e-commerce, AI, and electric vehicles. She began her career in 2006 and worked for Interfax News Agency and for PayPal before joining Asia Financial in July 2020. You can reach out to Iris on Twitter at @Iris23360981

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