On Friday, Chinese digital giant LeEco introduced a 2.0 version of its electric vehicle time-sharing business LeShare.
It’s a platform that runs in line with LeEco’s Super Electric Ecosystem (SEE) plan, which was introduced by LeEco CEO Jia Yueting at the end of 2014 to build an “ecosystem of electric, smart, connected, and socialized cars”.
“If every 10 people share one car, Beijing’s six million cars could be reduced to two million, and that means much less traffic pressure and a much better urban environment for everyone,” said LeShare chairman He Yi. “And with the concept of the sharing economy at its core, LeShare will satisfy anyone’s travelling needs at anytime anywhere, in an environmentally friendly way.”
With the 1.0 version published online last December, the LeShare 2.0 version is now available. People can access the LeShare services either via the LeShare app, or its WeChat official account. Registration requires uploading a driving license, and takes merely 30 seconds.
Once approved, users can hire an electric car from the nearest LeShare station and, at the end of the service, pay through Alipay or Wechat Pay. Vehicles are not reserved beforehand, to prevent instances where people reserve, but do not use, vehicles.
The app is available on both the iOS and the Android system. LeShare plans to make sure that a customer in a downtown area can hail a LeShare car within 500 meters. The price? Around RMB 15 (USD 2.30) per hour during daytime and one of third of the daytime price after midnight.
LeShare runs only pure-electric cars which can be unlocked via the LeShare app. When a web connection fails, a text message will send users the password which, upon being entered into the lock pad available on each car, also works as a key. Additionally, cars can be returned at a different LeShare station, facilitating uses such as short-distance travel, rather than simply daily commuting.
LeShare was initiated in Beijing last year. It now has 300 LeShare cars at 60 stations and plans to cover seven cities with 3,000 cars in 2016 including Shanghai, Shenzhen and Chengdu. The number will reach 100 cities with 200,000 cars in 2018. And by 2020, LeShare aims to paint its global picture with over a million pure-electric cars, according to He. Importantly, LeEco will invest RMB two billion in LeShare by the year 2019.
LeEco has been aggressively exploring the EV sector globally. Earlier this year, LeEco made investments with Farady Future and Aston Martin. This April, the company introduced its first electric car capable of self-driving and self-parking. In addition, LeEco is an investor in China’s car-hailing app Yidao Yongche. For LeShare, it is working with Chinese partners to obtain LeShare cars’ exclusive car parks, as well as more electric charging stations.
According to China’s National Energy Administration, the country will invest RMB 30 billion in 2016 to build over 2,000 EV charging stations, 100,000 public charging piles, and 860,000 private charging files nationwide.
It seems that a promising future is waiting for electric vehicles.
(Photo taken at the conference)