Alibaba Launches Electric Sedan In Partnership With China's Largest Automaker: What You Need To Know

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd BABA launched an electric sedan with state-owned SAIC Motor, China’s largest car company, Nikkei Asia reported Thursday (Hong Kong Time).

What Happened: The vehicle, capable of wireless charging, was launched under a new brand — IM. The acronym stands for “intelligence in motion,” according to Nikkei Asia.

The car was jointly developed by Alibaba, SAIC, and Shanghai Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park Development, the investment arm of Shanghai’s local government.

The sedan is powered by a new solid-state battery from Contemporary Amperex Technology, which also supplies Tesla Inc TSLA. It also uses chips made by Nvidia Corporation NVDA, as per Nikkei Asia.

IM will reportedly begin taking orders for the vehicle in April at the annual Shanghai auto show. A second SUV vehicle may be delivered to customers in 2022.

Alibaba shares were up 4.29% in Hong Kong at press-time. 

Why It Matters: Sales of new-energy vehicles in China have grown 11% to 1.36 million units in 2020, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, noted Nikkei Asia. 

UBS auto analyst Paul Gong projected double-digit growth in overall sales with numbers exceeding the 2019 level to 25.77 million vehicles, as per Nikkei Asia.

The Jack Ma-founded company is not the only firm announcing an EV foray. Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, Ltd HNHPF better known as Foxconn is teaming up with Chinese EV startup Byton to produce its first vehicle — the M-Byte — by the first quarter of 2022.

Meanwhile, Foxconn has also signed a cooperative agreement with Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd GELYF to set up a joint venture to provide OEM production and consulting services to global automakers.

This month, China’s search engine giant Baidu, Inc BIDU said it would form an EV company and build a strategic partnership with Geely — centered on EVs.

Price Action: Alibaba shares closed 4.3% higher at $235.30 on Wednesday and rose almost 0.4% in the after-hours session. 

Click here to check out Benzinga’s EV Hub for the latest electric vehicles news. 

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