Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Ltd. debuted its first electric-vehicle focused modular platform on Thursday, as part of its five-year plan to produce self-driving electric vehicles.
The open-source Sustainable Experience Architecture platform will initially be the basis for 16 models under seven brands, Geely CEO An Conghui said at the launch event, but it remains unclear what brands will be involved.
He also indicated the platform — a set of production, design, and engineering standards on which carmakers can base different vehicle models — would eventually be made available to other carmakers.
Geely, which owns a number of international brands including Volvo and Lotus, is in preliminary talks with several equipment manufacturers about sharing the platform, said Li Shufu, the automaker’s billionaire founder, adding in his statement that the electric vehicle platform will “expand the volume and scalability of our zero-emission models.”
Hong Kong-listed Geely Group has invested over 18 billion yuan ($2.65 billion) in developing the new platform, but it faces stiff competition in the electric vehicle platform space. Volkswagen has embedded its new platform in some Audi, Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen vehicles. Earlier this month, General Motors revealed more details about its Ultium modular battery platform, including battery management technology and drive units.
A major player in China’s autonomous driving space is search engine giant Baidu. It has spent 7 years developing its AI-powered autonomous driving platform Apollo, which founder Robin Li recently said would be commercially available by 2025.
Telecom giant Huawei has also stepped into the automotive sector. In May, it partnered with 18 Chinese automakers to develop 5G applications for cars, and has inked a smart car partnership with one of Geely’s subsidiaries, which will involve building an intelligent cockpit. An refused to comment on Huawei’s forays into smart car technology.
Geely’s new platform was developed for the Zero Concept electric vehicle that Geely also unveiled Thursday. The vehicle was produced by Volvo and Geely joint venture Lynk & Co.
It deploys the Intel-developed SuperVision driver-assistance system and comes equipped with surround-view cameras and navigation technology, according to a joint statement released by Geely and Intel on Thursday.
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