Didi provides EV charging services from Didi apps through its automobile solution platform Xiaoju (Image credit: Didi Chuxing)
Didi provides EV charging services through its Xiaoju platform. (Image credit: Didi Chuxing)

China’s top ride-hailing platform Didi Chuxing said Friday that nearly one million electric vehicles are registered on its platform, and that it is partnering with automakers to develop EVs designed for smart shared mobility services.

Why it matters: Didi is accelerating adoption of electrified cars on its platform, both in response to Beijing’s core initiatives as well as for its own profit growth.

  • Fuel costs could potentially be reduced by 65% to offset a 15% additional overall cost associated with EVs, allowing operators to raise their commission rate without affecting driver income, Helen Liu, principal of Bain & Company said in a June interview, citing the case of a full-time ride-hailing driver who travels between 124 and 186 miles on average each day in Shanghai.

Details: Around 967,000 fully electric cars have been registered on Didi’s ride-hailing platforms as of end-June, more than a third of the 2.81 million EVs in the country, Chen Yuhong, a researcher at Didi’s research and development institute, said on Friday at this year’s International Smart Shared Mobility Congress in Guangzhou.

  • Didi’s southern territory, including Shanghai, Zhejiang, and eight other provinces, has adopted green energy vehicles more widely than the others, with EVs accounting for more than one fifth of total completed rides in June. In the company’s northern China region, which includes Beijing and 10 provinces, electrified cars only completed 6.4% of rides during the same time frame.
  • Guangdong, Zhejiang, and Beijing are the top three regions in terms of EV registration. EVs complete more than 40% of the total trips in four major cities within Didi’s southern territory including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, and Xiamen.
  • EV rides accounted for 14.7% of total completed rides on the platform in June, reflecting “consistent growth” from just under 4% in January last year. The company attributed the growth to lower operational costs, 67% to 81% of gasoline-powered vehicles.
  • Chen told TechNode that rather than offering cash incentives, it was promoting EV adoption by improving its business processes and tools to address concerns specific to the auto technology, such as filtering for shorter rides, developing intelligent dispatch algorithms, and creating a comprehensive charging infrastructure map.
  • The country’s largest ride-hailing platform is currently working with automakers including Toyota and BYD to develop more cost-effective EV models with enhanced dispatch algorithms specifically for smart mobility services. A company spokesman declined to offer details Friday about launch timing.

Context: Didi is ramping up efforts to meet its goal of registering more than 10 million vehicles on its platform around the globe by 2028, first mentioned by Didi CEO Cheng Wei in April last year.

  • Didi’s new investor, Japanese auto giant Toyota, is establishing a joint venture with Chinese EV maker BYD next year as part of a plan to sell 5.5 million “electrified vehicles” globally by 2025, five years ahead of schedule.

Toyota and BYD inch toward formalizing electric vehicle JV

Jill Shen is Shanghai-based technology reporter. She covers Chinese mobility, autonomous vehicles, and electric cars. Connect with her via e-mail: jill.shen@technode.com or Twitter: @yushan_shen

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