While Tesla is the company that regularly makes most of the EV headlines, several other companies are chasing their share of the potential windfall when gas-powered transportation falls out of favor around the world. The newest entrant into the electric car arena will be Chinese search engine giant Baidu, according to people familiar with the matter.
Much like Google, Baidu has generated most of its revenue from web query advertising. Going forward, the company will expand its reach into cloud computing and eclectic vehicles, according to a new CNBC report. Baidu will set up a stand-alone subsidiary to develop software for its own electric vehicles while Geely Automobile Holdings will handle production.
Geely shares were reported to have risen 13% on the announcement of the partnership, according to a Reuters report. Baidu has been testing its driverless car software, known as Apollo, in self-driving public taxis in China. They plan to operate their own map and voice assistant application called DuerOS, which can be equipped inside a vehicle.
Sales of electric vehicles are set to explode in China in the coming years thanks to huge investments from the biggest players in its automotive industry as well as financial incentives from the Chinese government. Time will tell if these new vehicles will make it to North American shores to compete with Tesla and other vehicles from top automakers.