DiDi announce co-developed electric BYD D1 car built specifically for ride-hailing market

Didi Chuxing (DiDi), one of the world’s biggest transportation platforms, today unveiled D1, the world’s first electric vehicle custom built for ride-hailing.

Co-developed with electric vehicle manufacturer BYD Company Limited (BYD), the D1 cars will start rolling out to DiDi’s leasing partners in major Chinese cities in the coming months.

China is the world’s largest and hence one of the most under-supplied transportation markets. Shared mobility accounts for less than 3% of the total addressable mobility needs, and DiDi aims to raise the rate to 8% by 2022.

Cheng Wei, founder and CEO of DiDi, shared his vision for DiDi’s mobility blueprint for the next 10 years. He said: “Shared intelligent mobility is the optimum solution for the future of transportation. With the continued development of autonomous driving and AI technology, people will be able to enjoy a better travel experience through shared mobility.”

D1 is DiDi’s first step to build customised ride-hailing vehicles by leveraging its expertise and data insights from its user base of over 550 million registered passengers and 31 million drivers.

To ensure a reliable and more cost-effective supply for its drivers’ network that today delivers as many as 60 million trips per day, DiDi China has been building a automotive ecosystem for its core mobility service by establishing alliances with manufacturers, energy providers and other industry players.

Jean Liu, President of DiDi, added: “During the process of countless product upgrades, we realized that we were not satisfied with the progress we made on improving user experience. Therefore, we decided to focus our efforts on the vehicle itself.

“As an industry first, DiDi has integrated the needs of hundreds of millions of users into the design of D1 by leveraging our data analytics and user feedback. Our product design team analysed almost 10 million advice and feedback, alongside survey results from over 10,000 drivers and passengers, as well as tens of workshops. There are many impressive stories to tell.”

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