Under the project code D1, work on a new project has begun at Stallbacka. It could become the crucial project for NEVS, which is at an early stage. In a paid article of the local newspaper, CEO Tilk shared initial details.
Project D1. Autonomous driving for DiDi.
The D1 project is being driven forward for NEVS cooperation partner DiDi. 30 employees in Trollhättan are involved in the development of an autonomous electric car, which is not a complete new development and based on the 9-3 EV. As of 2020, D1 could be produced in China as a hire and taxi solution for mobility provider Didi.
The new electric car is still in the starting phase. In the next step 70, then maybe 600 to 700 developers will work on it. If the first drafts client DiDi liked, and the project goes into another phase, then this could consolidate the relationship between NEVS and Didi. Because the partnership, and the possible entry as a shareholder, are still not secured. DiDi has commissioned several companies with the development of autonomous vehicles and has the choice between various hardware manufacturers. DiDi Chuxing has the last one financing round over a billion reserve and could solve the problems of NEVS with a sovereign grip in the petty cash.
New Year. Old problems.
2018 the startup in the stablebacka still plague the old problems. Liquidity is limited, bloodletting continues, and employees leave the company. The development and production preparation of the NEVS 9-3 EV project has since been completely outsourced to China. Swedish employees commute between both locations. They are working hard on connectivity and cyber-security solutions for the new vehicles.
The past year has gone better than expected, CEO Stefan Tilk stated to the TTELA. What could be a question of perspective. It could also be said that it was less catastrophic than it could have been. Because still the factory in Tianjin is not complete. The paint shop is missing, as is the bodywork. From summer 2018 the production of the 9-3 EV should start. NEVS expects 10.000 units in the current year, but without sufficient funding and without completion of the Tianjin factory, this is hardly realistic.
A possible solution would be a change in the shareholder structure, which indicates at the moment. Old shareholders could give their shares, new shareholders and bring in liquidity. DiDi Chuxing would be an option, but except one big performance in Trollhättan so far nothing concrete has emerged. DiDi has the choice, unlike NEVS. The global giant has the future on its side and can wait. But in Stallbacka the clock is running and everything could be connected to this partnership.