Chinese ride-hailing start-up, Didi Chuxing, has unveiled an electric vehicle that was designed exclusively for ride hailing services.
The vehicle was designed, developed, and built by Didi Chuxing, in conjunction with Chinese Electric Vehicle (EV) manufacturer, BYD.
The manufacturing of the EV is part of Didi Chuxing’s effort to boost the supply of qualified vehicles that meet local law, without polluting the atmosphere.
According to Didi Chuxing, D1, the first model to have been built with ride-hailing service in mind, will ship to the startup’s leasing partners across several Chinese cities.
The vehicle is a hatchback, and has a range of 418 km (260 miles) as judged by NEDC (New European Driving Cycle).
The vehicle has a medium-sized screen on the dashboard, as well as two more touch-sensitive screens on the back of both headrests – for passengers to access navigation and other information.
Didi’s D1 also provides enhanced security features, such as police-alarm button.
To address the roughly 20,000 disputes that arises from opening and closing of traditional car doors, an electronic sliding door was placed on the right-hand side of the vehicle.
The sliding door was also made to prevent riders from accidentally hitting passengers or cyclists
According to reports, the D1 will come with a Level 2 driver assistance system that includes lane-departure warning, automatic braking, and pedestrian collision warning.
The EV will also have a driver monitoring system which will ensure that drivers keep their hands on the wheel, and stay focused while they drive.
Users will also have control over the temperature in the vehicle – as they are given the power to set the car temperature and seat heating remotely, via Didi’s ride-hailing app.
Didi’s founder and CEO, Cheng Wei, said at the announcement on Monday that the company aims to provide better rideshare-based solutions to meet increasing commuter demands in megacities like Beijing, where daily commuting is headache for most and the rise in car ownership has outpaced road improvements over the past two decades.
Didi says it has “about 1 million” electric cars on its platform today, and is making moves to increase the number of EVs in its pool.
Didi’s expansion of its carpool to have more EV is likely to be viewed favorably by the Chinese government, noting that Beijing has made adoption of EVs a top national priority, in part, to cut pollution.
The Chinese government have set a vision for passenger EVs, electric buses and commercial EVs to represent 20% of new vehicle sales by 2025.