Geely’s Electric Architecture May Underpin Mercedes Models
(Bloomberg) -- Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., the Chinese carmaker whose stable of brands includes Volvo and Lotus, said the underpinnings of a new electric model coming next year will be offered up to other manufacturers.
The architecture Geely developed for the Lynk & Co. Zero Concept unveiled Wednesday is an open-source platform available for other companies to use. Geely is in talks to license the technology to several other manufacturers, including Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler AG, according to a Geely spokesperson.
“Our development of this transformative electric-vehicle architecture marks the biggest leap forward at Geely in more than a decade,” Li Shufu, the automaker’s billionaire founder, said in a statement. “This far-reaching innovation will greatly expand the volume and scalability of our zero-emission models.”
While demand for electric vehicles is outpacing cars running on combustion engines, they still represent a small portion of global sales. With batteries still years away from rivaling gas-guzzling powertrains in price, automakers around the globe are joining forces to share the burden of bringing EVs to market.
Daimler declined to confirm the talks. Mercedes plans to flank its flagship S-Class sedan next year with a purely battery-powered sibling dubbed EQS, which will be based on the brand’s first dedicated electric-car underpinnings.
Geely spent four years and 18 billion yuan ($2.65 billion) developing the architecture, An Conghui, the Hangzhou-based company’s president, told reporters at a presentation ahead of the 2020 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, which kicks off later this week. It will underpin EVs that are expected to offer as much as 700 kilometers (435 miles) of driving range between charges.
The carmaking group run by Li, who is worth about $17.8 billion, sold around 2.2 million vehicles last year. It is Daimler’s largest shareholder with an almost 10% stake.
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