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Ford Smart Mobility and Zotye Auto Sign Mou to Set up EV Solutions JV

Ford Smart Mobility and Zotye Auto have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to establish electric vehicle solutions joint venture (JV) for China’s ride-hailing market.

The two car companies plan to supply ride-hailing fleet operators and drivers with EVs and solutions such as vehicle leasing, data-driven fleet management, in-vehicle digital services, vehicle customization and connectivity.

The vehicles will be made by the Zotye-Ford manufacturing JV, and marketed under a new brand.

To be situated in Zhejiang province, the new JV  will initially focus on the ride-hailing market in Zhejiang, with plans to expand to other provinces.

It will have registered capital of $20m, with each company contributing 50%.

The JV will also collaborate with local governments and cities on the development of data connectivity and software for integrated transportation solutions, to tackle issues such as traffic congestion and flow, to enhance commuter experience, and to lay the foundations for V2X and autonomous vehicles.

Presently, many ride-hailing operators in China are looking to expand their fleets with electric vehicles. Ford quoted Boston Consulting Group stating that the local e-hailing market is expected to grow at 19% annually through 2022 and the overall fleet size is expected to reach up to 26 million.

Ford Motor Company executive vice president and mobility president Marcy Klevorn said: “As people and cities across the world increasingly adopt new mobility services, we also need to work together to ensure these services are solving key issues such as accessibility and air quality versus adding to them.

“By providing smart-enabled electric vehicles for the ride-hailing market, this new mobility joint venture will be a key part of the solution for China’s cities.”

Zotye Auto board director and Tech-New Group chairman Ying Jianren said: “We are delighted to have signed this MOU today to develop smart mobility solutions for cities in China.

“This underlines the strength of the relationship between Zotye and Ford, and we look forward to working even closer in the future to provide EV fleet management support for ride-hailing services through this JV.”

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Topics: Auto Parts