The new EV players will face stiff competition from Tesla, which accounted for 21% of the value of all passenger EVs sold in China during 2020, plus the established local players like Xpeng and Nio and the steady electrification of traditional automakers too.
“I don’t expect all the players who are rushing in now will still exist in the auto market in five to 10 years,” says Raymond Tsang, a partner at consultancy Bain & Co. But the stream of entrants clearly see reason to try.
The D1 is also equipped with level 2 autonomous driving capabilities—meaning it can steer and adjust speed itself. In January, Didi raised $300 million for its autonomous driving unit, led by IDG Capital.
“We all know that for autonomous driving, the first commercially viable use case will be robot taxis,” says Tsang of Bain & Co. “So for players in the mobility industry, the shift to AV is basically a make-or-break moment.”