Geely Holding has officially announced its partnership with Chinese Google rival Baidu to establish a new electric-vehicle brand.
The new EV brand will focus on the “joint research and development of connected and intelligent electric vehicles”.
The partnership between Geely and Baidu will use the former’s Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) EV platform as the basis of the new electric models. The SEA was first unveiled in September 2020 as the world’s first open-sourced EV platform, due to its advanced integration of hardware, software, and wider integrational capabilities.
Baidu will contribute with its intelligent driving and intelligent transportation technologies. This means that the electric cars that will come from the new entity are going to feature Baidu’s full portfolio of technologies, including the Apollo autonomous driving, DuerOS for Apollo, and Baidu Maps.
Geely’s latest partnership is part of China’s leading privately-owned automotive group push to transform from a traditional automaker into a “transport-technology company focused on electrified mobility”.
The two companies will provide more details on the new EV brand “in due course”. An earlier report said that Baidu will hold a majority stake and absolute voting power in the new brand.
Partnerships between carmakers and tech companies are expected to become a more common thing in the near future in a bid to tackle the major challenge of switching from internal combustion engines to electric power, sharing the huge costs and the necessary know-how in software development.