BAIC Motor's new-energy cars off the production line in Beijing, July 23. (Photo/CFP)
Foxconn Technology Group and BAIC Motor Corporation plan to jointly establish a company that provides electric vehicle rental services, set to become operational in September, according to Chinese media reports.
The report said that Beijing-based BAIC Motor and Foxconn signed an agreement in June, in which the two companies invested a combined 100 million yuan (US$16.4 million) to establish an electric car rental company named Henyu in Beijing.
Henyu, which has purchased two help-yourself car rental platforms in Beijing and Hangzhou, will provide electric cars by the hour and offer low emission car rentals.
The new company aims to establish the largest electric vehicle rental firm in China.
BAIC Motor general manager Zhen Gang confirmed the cooperation. He said Henyu will launch a pilot service in Beijing, Hangzhou and Jiangsu province and plans to have 5,000 to 10,000 pure electric cars for rental within a year.
Terry Gou, chairman of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, Foxconn's parent company, visited BAIC Motor in late February this year and met BAIC chairman Xu Heyi, who expressed his interest in the partnership. Xu said at the time that he hopes the cooperation can expand to batteries, new technology and auto applications in addition to traditional auto parts and electronic control systems.
To expand its market outside Beijing, BAIC Motor plans to offer nearly one thousand E150EV cars in 10 major cities, namely Tianjin, Qingdao, Nanjing, Changzhou, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Changsha, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, to allow potential buyers to experience new-energy cars, Guangzhou's 21st Century Business Herald reported.
In the first half of 2014, BAIC Motor's sales of pure electric cars trailed behind BYD Auto and FAW Group but it managed to lead its rivals with new car launches during the second half of this year.