Germany‘s automobile manufacturer Daimler’s [DAI:GR] Chinese branch intends to launch an electric SUV, the Mercedes-Benz EQC, in 2019, according to The Paper on November 7. The EV is expected to run 450 km without charging. In addition, the company also plans to invest over EUR1bn to build a global battery manufacturing network.
China is the largest vehicle market in the world. According to bitauto.com, China’s vehicle sales volume reached 28.9m units in 2017, accounting for one-third of global sales. The application of AI and internet technologies on EVs has become an attractive field to invest in due to comprehensive functions such as energy-saving, unmanned operation, and high safety features. For example, Xiao Peng Vehicle, an internet-focused EVs startup, raised over RMB10bn at an RMB25bn valuation in August. In addition, Daimler has been actively developing businesses in other areas. In October, Daimler collaborated with Geely [0175:HK] to develop its car-hailing services.