What happened: Ride-hailing giant Didi and two state-owned firms have set up an electric vehicle services joint venture (JV) in the southern island province of Hainan. The new company, which also includes a subsidiary of China Southern Power Grid (CSPG) and an investment branch of the Hainan government as partners, will lease and sell electric vehicles (EV), and manage charging infrastructure.
Why it’s important: Hainan hopes to become a trailblazer in EV sales and production, even going as far as planning a province-wide ban on fossil fuel-driven vehicles by 2030. Meanwhile, Didi has been forging partnerships to give its drivers access to more charging facilities. CSPG has invested more than RMB 3 billion (around $436 million) to set up 23,000 charging outlets in the region. Another 12,000 are expected to go online by the end of 2019. China leads the world in terms of access to EV charging facilities, according to consultancy firm Alix Partners. The country was home to seven vehicles per charger in 2018, compared with the nearly 20 cars for every pile in the US.