Didi Chuxing and a lesson in EV adoption
Nikhil Varma
Nikhil Varma
Bengaluru
14 January 2021
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In November, Didi Chuxing, the Chinese cab-hailing company that drove Uber out of the country, announced that BYD, one of the world’s largest electric car makers, is launching a custom electric car for Didi’s cab fleet. Called the D1, it was made specifically for the kind of use that ride-hailing platforms see.

Earlier this week, the news broke that Tesla, the American EV manufacturer that is the industry’s global poster child and now the most valuable automaker in the world, had incorporated an Indian subsidiary. Electric enthusiasts and fans of Tesla (which trades blows with Warren Buffett-backed BYD for the EV sales crown globally) in India rejoiced, but nobody has any clue if, when and how the company will actually launch its products here.

What’s more important is that Tesla has been getting serious about the Chinese market first. The company launched its SUV programme there in early January, after setting up a Chinese plant in late 2019. As in many things,

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