China’s Geely launches electric truck, rival to Tesla’s Semi

Geely’s commercial vehicle unit Farizon Auto, launched a new energy semi-truck in Shanghai on November 8. The company aims to manufacture and roll out the vehicle in 2024.


SHANGHAI – China’s Geely launched a new electric semi-truck on Monday as carmakers look to bring new technology to the commercial vehicle market.

Geely̵[ads1]7;s commercial vehicle group, Farizon Auto, plans to roll out the new Homtrucker in 2024 and is also targeting international markets, division chief Mike Fan told CNBC in an interview on Monday.

“This product is designed and developed with the global market in mind,” Fan said, according to a CNBC translation, adding that the company would target Europe, Korea, Japan and North America with the new vehicle.

Geely’s Homtruck launch comes as a number of car manufacturers from Mercedes owner Daimler to Warren Buffett – supported BYD have announced their own electric trucks. Tesla, which announced its own truck called the Semi in 2017, has been delaying production of that vehicle for some time.

The home truck will have various power options, including methanol hybrid and pure electric. Methanol-powered batteries are a technology Geely has invested in for a few years, and some of the models currently have this power option. Farizon said that Homtrucken’s batteries can also be replaced, which reduces the need to charge.

The interior includes a shower and toilet, single bed, refrigerator, kitchen and a small washing machine, the company said.

Fully driverless by 2030?

The home truck is built with autonomous driving in mind.

Geely said the vehicle will be able to use some partially autonomous driverless features. And for longer journeys, trucks will be able to communicate with each other to maintain safe speed and distance.

Fan said that Geely plans to introduce autonomous driving in three phases. By 2023, the company hopes to have some partially driverless features with more advanced systems by 2026. Geely plans to achieve full autonomy by 2030.

“I’m sure regulations and standards for autonomous driving are being formed,” Fan said.

“Based on market demand and the development needs of our own company, [Geely] as a company, should develop and improve certain technologies in advance. So that when regulations and conditions are ready, we can use our technology on the market in time. “

Rising commodity prices, wood chips shortage

Car manufacturers have also worked on an increase in commodity prices and a global shortage of semiconductors.

Car manufacturers are monitoring the price of lithium, which has risen to record highs this year.

An October 29 report by Benchmark Mineral Intelligence said that battery manufacturers are beginning to pass on these price increases to car companies “which could have a major impact on electric vehicles coming on the market between 2022 and 2024.”

Geely’s Fan said that rising commodity prices affect the company’s production volume and margin as the carmaker faces “increasing price pressure.”

He called rising commodity prices a “period problem” that “will gradually ease”.

Fan also said that the global chip shortage limits the company’s production volume. But he also said that supply problems are “gradually being solved” and companies are working on “alternative solutions” for chips.

“So these two parts will play together to ease the chip shortage,” Fan said.

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