In yet another example of the way that the electric vehicle market in China seems to be exploding in a way that others aren’t, Alibaba and Foxconn have led the recent, 2.2 billion yuan (~$347 million) funding round for the startup manufacturer Xiaopeng Motors.
As we covered news of Xiaopeng Motors’ demo car at the recent CES event in Las Vegas, I’ll stay focused here on the financial news. The funding from the new round factored in, Xiaopeng Motors’ total cash-pile now rests around 5 billion yuan — a fairly substantial figure, all things considered.
Notably, this marks the second time that Alibaba (sort of like China’s version of Amazon) has taken part in one of the funding rounds for Xiaopeng Motors.
Reuters provides more: “China’s new energy vehicle sales are expected to grow by 40% in 2018, according to an industry body, even as the country’s traditional automotive market slowed sharply in 2017.
“Xiaopeng says its first vehicle, the ‘G3’, will hit the market this year. Alibaba has invested heavily in smart car technology and partnered with a handful of traditional western and Chinese carmakers, including Ford Motor Co and BMW.
“Other investors in the round include IDG Capital as well as previous investors GGV Capital, Morningside Venture Capital, and Matrix Partners, Alibaba said on its press site on Sunday. Russian billionaire investor Yuri Milner is also supporting the initiative, the web site said.”
Foxconn’s involvement is interesting as well, as it implies that the company is continuing to show strong interest in the growing electric vehicle sector in China — which is notable considering its manufacturing capital. Nearly 4 years ago, we reported on rumored company plans to build a $15,000 EV for China. The company has also been moving into the solar space in recent years.
There were some complaints on my recent article about the cheapest electric vehicle models out there today, with regard to the inclusion of so many models only sold in China, but the reality is that China now represents the largest auto market in the world, and also by far the largest electric vehicle market. Also, we at CleanTechnica are focused on the global cleantech sector — not just on what goes on in the US.
Owing to the reality that we have a global audience here, and the fact that the China/Russia/Iran/etc. alliance seems to be fast eclipsing US international influence, we will be continuing to cover news of the cleantech sector in China extensively. We think it’s important to bear in mind the economic trends that are visible to any who wish to see them.