Chinese EV startup Leapmotor and car-sharing operator Mydadao reached a strategic cooperation agreement on July 18 to jointly explore and develop bespoke intelligent shared cars and have in-depth talks in vehicle trusteeship and supporting monetary instrument.
Under the agreement, Mydadao will order two new models based on Leapmotor's T vehicle platform in the form of leasing, buy-back or direct purchase and the vehicles will be put into operation for car-sharing services. Besides, Leapmotor will provide its partner with complete financial service support and other solutions. Both parties will jointly explore the applications of automated valet parking (AVP) in car-sharing scenarios so as to supply users with more convenient and environment-friendly driving experience and mobility services.
The vehicle agreed by both parties is a BEV (battery electric vehicle) model developed by Leapmotor, which will go on sale in 2018. Featuring a compact and fashionable design, the models will be endowed with autonomous driving capability, carrying Leapmotor's self-developed sensor system, autonomous driving algorithm as well as controller.
According to Zhao Gang, vice president of Leapmotor, the startup will have a total of 3 models for sale next year, namely, two models coming from the T platform and the LP-S01. Mydadao will provide the EV startup with multiple operational data and product information that could help to improve users' experience. Meanwhile, the car-sharing operator will benefit from the proprietary technologies independently developed by Leapmotor that leads to better users' experience for Mydadao.
Up until now, Mydadao has been conducting businesses in Qingdao and Changsha and has a fleet with nearly 6,000 cars. It has obtained $10 million-plus investment from Baidu Ventures, Sequoia Capital China, Bertelsmann Asia Investments and Volcanics Venture.