Didi Chuxing, the largest ride-hailing app operator in China, plans to invest at least 1 billion yuan (USD151 million) to expand in the country’s rapidly growing electric car rental market.
The move would enable the Beijing-based company to create an online marketplace for other car-rental firms to link with potential customers.
Cheng Wei, the founder and chief executive of Didi, said users will be able to conveniently lease a car with a smartphone app, just like what people do when they hail a ride.
That will also put Didi in direct competition with SAIC Motor Corp., whose subsidiary EvCard operated 8,400 electric cars in 20 mainland cities as of June this year.
Didi, which acquired Uber’s China business last year, has been keen to tap into environmentally-friendly mobility technologies as it bets big on green energy cars to further develop its business.
More than 260,000 electric vehicles currently run on Didi’s platform out of a global total of 2 million. Cheng had earlier said the company will expand its fleet of electric vehicles to 1 million by 2020.
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