(Yicai Global) Nov. 17 -- Ride-sharing giant Didi Chuxing and carmaker BYD have jointly released China's first electric vehicle model specifically made for ride-hailing with smart features and big expectations.
The D1 van model is expected to be put to use next month, first in central China's Changsha, the Beijing-based car-sharing company said at a press conference yesterday, without disclosing how many vehicles will be produced.
The number of cars dedicated to just ride-hailing on Didi's platform will exceed 1 million by 2025, Cheng predicted. That would be more than all the full-time ride-hailing fleet in China at the moment, according to the transport ministry.
The D1 aims to improve driver and user experience and is equipped to step into the era of driverless vehicles. For now, passengers can adjust the temperature and ventilation of the cabin through the Didi Chuxing mobile application. Moreover, the driver can take new orders by pressing a button on the steering wheel.
Didi Chuxing has previously been focusing on software updates to improve user experience but can now upgrade both software and hardware, said founder Cheng Wei. The D1 already features Didi Chuxing's autopilot technology and in the future, the driver's seat may be removed altogether, he added.
The model comes with Shenzhen-based BYD's latest lithium iron phosphate battery and a range of almost 420 kilometers.
Editor: Tang Shihua, Emmi Laine