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 start-up phase. In the next step 70, then maybe 600 to 700 developers should work on it. If the client DiDi likes the first drafts and the project goes into a further phase, this could strengthen 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 to develop autonomous vehicles and has the choice between various hardware manufacturers. DiDi Chuxing decides after the last 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.
Last year went better than expected, CEO Stefan Tilk told TTELA. Which could be a matter of perspective. You could also say it was less disastrous than it could have been. Because the plant in Tianjin is still not complete. The paint shop is missing, as is the body shop. Production of the 2018-9 EV is scheduled to start in summer 3. NEVS expects 10.000 units in the current year, but without sufficient funding and without the 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.