Why China’s Geely developed a new electric vehicle architecture


Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., the Chinese company whose stable of brands includes Volvo and Lotus, said the underpinnings of a new electric model coming next year will be offered up to other manufacturers.

The architecture Geely developed for the Lynk & Co. Zero Concept unveiled Wednesday is an open-source platform available for other companies to use. Geely is in talks to license the technology to several other manufacturers, including Daimler, according to a Geely spokesperson.

“Our development of this transformative electric-vehicle architecture marks the biggest leap forward at Geely in more than a decade,” Li Shufu, the automaker’s billionaire founder, said in a statement. “This far-reaching innovation will greatly expand the volume and scalability of our zero-emission models.”

While demand for electric vehicles is outpacing cars running on combustion engines, they still represent a small portion of global sales. With batteries still years away from rivaling gasoline-powered vehicles in price, automakers around the globe are joining forces to share the burden of bringing EVs to market.

Geely spent four years and 18 billion yuan ($2.65 billion) developing the architecture, An Conghui, the Hangzhou-based company’s president, told reporters at a presentation ahead of the 2020 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, which kicks off later this week. It will underpin EVs that are expected to offer as much as 435 miles of driving range between charges.

The carmaking group run by Li, who is worth about $17.8 billion, sold around 2.2 million vehicles last year. It is Daimler’s largest shareholder with an almost 10 percent stake.

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