- Bavarian high-tech for Geely subsidiary EcarX
- Reforestation to combat sandstorm and climate change
- Lavrov and Wang display unity
- Shanghai in lockdown: VW curbs production
- UK withdraws judges from Hong Kong
- BYD reports high revenue
- Opinion: coal phase-out lacks transparency
The automotive industry continues to face problems. Just when there were signs of relief along supply chains, the Ukraine war and an Omicron surge in China added new uncertainties. Continuously rising gasoline prices are also increasing the pressure to switch drive systems. However, EVs are even more digital by design – and Germany continues to be short of skilled software developers.
Although the Chinese automotive industry is already very strong in the fields of electromobility and digitalization, it is now increasing its lead even further. Geely, the owner of Volvo, has bundled its technology activities in the subsidiary EcarX, which we are presenting in today’s issue. EcarX develops software and manages the manufacturing of corresponding chips. With this strategy, Geely is reinforcing its position as a pioneer of smart driving, analyzes Frank Sieren.
The weather forecast predicts a drop in temperatures in Germany this weekend, and next week, rain is finally expected. In general, however, this year has once again already started with too little precipitation. The effect of climate change on forests, therefore, remains a pressing issue. After the clearcutting of the past few years, reforestation is now on the agenda. Learning from China, which has a lot of experience in this area, would seem like an obvious step. But tree planting has long since become a mere quota that needs to be met, analyzes Ning Wang. Saplings often grow poorly, and artificial forests are neither as robust nor as climate-effective as the real thing.
German technology for Geely’s EV plans
The three major challenges the German automotive industry has faced recently have been chip shortages, the rapid transition to new drive systems, and rapid digitization, which still lacks software developers. These three issues overlap and amplify each other: The car of the future includes a particularly large number of computer functions and needs not just a large number of semiconductors, it also needs particularly advanced ones.
To this end, Hangzhou-based carmaker Geely now takes software development and chip design into its own hands – and even handles the production. Particularly remarkable here are Geely’s plans for the group company EcarX. It was founded in 2016 by Geely owner Li Shufu and CEO Shen Ziyu. Now it is the platform on which the group plans to offer a variety of connected digital services for cars. EcarX’s software, for example, is expected to one day take control in autonomous driving. It is also intended to widely replace third-party programs from Google.
The development of such services costs a lot of money. That is why EcarX plans to go public in the United States. To do so, it is using the somewhat dubious structure of a listed shell company, with which EcarX will merge to become tradable without a formal initial listing. The transaction would be valued at about $4 billion, Bloomberg reports. But the company still has to convince regulators on both sides of the Pacific that everything is above board.