Baidu has already developed autonomous vehicle technology, but now plans to produce electric vehicles in partnership with Geely, the Chinese automaker that owns Volvo and Polestar, according to MSNBC. The idea is that Geely will design and manufacture the EVs, while Baidu, the Chinese equivalent of Google, will provide the technology. “China has become the world’s largest market for electric vehicles and we are seeing consumers of electric vehicles demanding that next generation vehicles be smarter,” Robin Li, CEO of Baidu, said in a statement.
The Chinese electric vehicle market is increasingly crowded every day, in part thanks to government subsidies and the rapid expansion of charging infrastructure. In addition to incumbents like Tesla and national companies Nio, Xpeng Motors and others, other tech companies like Foxconn (with Byton) and Ali Baba jump in. In November 2020, Tesla delivered more than 20,000 electric vehicles in the country, up nearly 80% in a single month.