BEIJING – Didi Chuxing is working to build its own charging networks for electric vehicles.
Cheng Wei, founder and CEO of the world’s largest mobility platform, announced the plans on November 2 at a sustainable energy summit jointly sponsored by the United Nations and the Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization (GEIDCO), which is a key partner in DiDi’s new EV infrastructure program.
“We have started new joint venture projects to build our own EV charging systems,” said Cheng. “DiDi’s charging networks will not only cover our own fleet. It will also serve families and the public.”
DiDi is the world’s largest online transportation platform with more than 450 million users and 21 million drivers. As many as 25 million rides are completed on its network daily, twice as many as the rest of the world combined. The company is also working to introduce AI technology into integrated urban traffic management systems across China. Over 260,000 EVs are running on DiDi’s network out of a global total of 2 million, making DiDi the world’s largest EV fleet operator. Cheng said the number will rise to 1 million by 2020.
“The future of transport is new energy vehicles, and ridesharing will be a key link in promoting new energy on the road,” said Cheng. “With the advance of new energy and new transmission technology, humanity has the chance to build a global ‘internet’ of energy.” He called for businesses and governments to work together to achieve the integration of “three internets” – the internet of information, the internet of energy and the internet of transportation.
Besides its renewable energy projects, DiDi also invests heavily in environmentally-friendly mobility technologies, from carpooling to on-demand minibus services, to address urban congestion and pollution. In 2016, DiDi’s main carpooling services reduced road carbon emission by 1.44 million tons.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), more than 750,000 EVs were sold worldwide last year, compared to 547,220 sold in 2015. China has surpassed the U.S. to be the largest carrier of EVs, accounting for 40 percent of the EVs sold in the world, twice as big as the U.S.
The sustainable energy summit gathered energy ministers, as well as leading business and NGO executives from Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia to rally for the UN 2030 goals. UN Secretary General António Guterres addressed the symposium by delivering an opening speech. “Global connectivity allows for inclusivity for energy to reach everybody’s needs,” said Guterres.