While Tesla is the company that routinely makes most of the headlines surrounding electric vehicles, several other companies are looking for their share of the potential windfall when petrol-powered transportation falls out of favor worldwide. The newest entrant into the electric car arena will be Chinese search engine giant Baidu, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Much like Google, Baidu has generated most of its revenue from advertising related to web queries. Going forward, the company will be expanding its reach into cloud computing and eclectic vehicles, according to a new report from CNBC. Baidu will create a standalone subsidiary to develop software for their own electric vehicles while Geely Automobile Holdings will handle the production side of things.
Shares of Geely stock were reportedly up 13% on news of the partnership, according to a Reuters report. Baidu has been testing its driverless car software, known as Apollo, in public autonomous taxis in China. They plan to leverage their own map application and voice assistant called DuerOS, which can be equipped inside a vehicle.
Electric vehicle sales are expected to explode in China in the coming years thanks to huge investments from the largest players in its automotive industry as well as financial incentives from the Chinese government. Time will tell if these new rides will make it onto North American shores to compete with Tesla and other vehicles from the top automakers.