China's Didi just announced a new joint venture to work on electric and hybrid vehicle projects

China’s largest ride-hailing operator, Didi Chuxing, said Monday it had entered into a joint venture with a unit of BAIC, China’s state-owned autos giant.

The joint venture between Beijing Electric Vehicle and Didi, called BAIC-Xiaoju New Energy Auto Technology, will work to develop “next-generation connected-car systems” through projects related to electric and hybrid vehicles and artificial intelligence.

In recent years, Beijing has aggressively pushed for so-called new energy vehicles as a way to curb air pollution. Those include passenger cars and other types of vehicles that run either purely on battery or is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

BAIC has said it plans to stop manufacturing and selling gas-driven car models by 2025.

For its part, Didi said it has close to 400,000 new energy vehicles registered on its platform, many of which are through its partnerships with electric vehicle makers such as BYD.

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