Geely Automobile Holdings, the Chinese automaker, has secured $750 million in funding for its electric vehicle (EV) brand Zeekr. The investment was made by five investors, including Amnon Shashua, CEO and founder of autonomous driving technology company Mobileye Global, and the investment arm of the Guangzhou city municipal government. The latest round of funding brings the valuation of Zeekr to an impressive $13 billion.
Zeekr sells two purely electric car models, and the latest funding will be used to support the brand’s global expansion and technology research, as announced in a statement on Monday. The funding comes as automakers race to develop and launch electric cars to meet global carbon emissions targets.
In addition to the new investors, existing investor CATL, a Chinese battery maker, also participated in the funding round. The announcement of the funding is expected to provide a much-needed boost to Zeekr as it competes with established brands like Tesla and newer rivals like Nio in the competitive EV market.
Zeekr’s success in attracting high-profile investors underscores its potential in the EV industry, where governments and consumers are increasingly demanding eco-friendly transportation options. The $13 billion valuation also makes it one of the most valuable EV brands in the world, highlighting the rapid growth of China’s electric vehicle market.
The investment in Zeekr marks the latest development in Geely Automobile Holdings’ push towards electrification. In January, Geely announced plans to launch a new pure electric brand called “Lingling” in 2022, targeting the affordable EV market. The automaker also unveiled its “Smart EV Architecture” platform, designed to support a wide range of electric vehicles.
As automakers worldwide invest in electrification, China is positioning itself as a major player in the EV market, backed by the government’s push towards cleaner energy. The Chinese government aims to have 20% of all new vehicles sold in the country be electric by 2025, presenting a significant growth opportunity for Chinese automakers like Geely and Zeekr.