It’s not uncommon in the car industry for competitor brands to work together to develop common technologies. However, in the following case, it seems that Geely, the Chinese carmaker that also owns Volvo, Polestar, and Lotus, is just going to sell its tech directly to its rivals.
According to a Financial Times report, Geely has created a new process for building electric vehicles, which it hopes will be one of a handful of platforms that will dominate the industry in the coming years.
The report says the new BEV (battery electric vehicle) platform could offer ranges of up to 700 km, make vehicles lighter, and scale from two-seater cars up to large minibuses that transport dozens of people at a time.
“Our development of this transformative electric vehicle architecture marks the biggest leap forward at Geely in more than a decade,” said Geely chairman, Li Shufu.
[Read: 5 things to know when you’re buying your first electric vehicle]
As the report points out, the carmakers often work together to avoid duplicating technology, or wasting money by investing to create similar products. In the long run, it’s often cheaper to outsource to companies that have the tech, and use that instead.
For example, Honda will use some of GM‘s battery tech, and also has a minor stake in CATL, which also supplies cells to other EV makers.
Ford looks like it will use VW’s tech on some of its vehicles, while General Motors has developed tech which it’s also hoping to use in its own brands and sell to competitors. GM also looks like it will be using its tech in, and building, the upcoming hydrogen EV hybrid from EV startup Nikola.
Geely is reportedly already discussing selling the platform to Daimler, the owner of Mercedes-Benz. It just so happens that Geely also owns a stake in Daimler, so take that for what you will.
One thing is for sure: you can bet on this BEV architecture finding its way into brands that Geely owns and builds, such as the aforementioned Polestar, Volvo, and Lotus. All of Geely’s brands have already committed to using the BEV platform on future vehicles. Exactly when remains a mystery for now, though.
The first car to use the platform will be a large saloon aimed at young drivers, and will be sold next year under the brand name Lynk & Co. which is due to launch officially at the end of this month.
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Published September 23, 2020 — 14:01 UTC