Geely unveiled on Monday an electric semi-truck model. The company said to deliver the model with highly autonomous driving functions in 2024. Such a commercial vehicle from the Chinese automaker could pose a threat to Tesla and other manufacturers.

Why it matters: The launch will allow Geely to expand its presence in the global commercial market, poised for double-digit growth in the coming years, and to compete against Tesla’s long-awaited Semi truck model and similar offerings produced by Daimler, Nikola, among others.

Details: Called the Homtruck, the semi-truck will be available in several power options, including fully electric and plug-in hybrid, and feature a modern sleeper cab interior, which Geely said will give drivers extra comfort.

  • Geely did not reveal many specifics about the first premium truck modelin its new commercial vehicle group, to be branded Farizon Auto, but said in a Monday statement that it has begun taking advance orders with an initial deposit of RMB 2,000 ($313).
  • Scheduled for delivery in early 2024, the Homtruck will have highly autonomous features that allow drivers to cruise around hands-free on certain roads, the company said, intending to achieve full autonomy in 2030.
  • Geely, the parent company of Volvo, intends to expand its presence globally with the launch of the semi-truck, eyeing markets such as Europe, Korea, Japan, and North America, Mike Fan, chief executive of Farizon Auto told CNBC on Monday.
  • Farizon Auto is targeting an annual sales of 250,000 clean energy vehicles in 2025. It expects that number to more than double by 2030 with a 20% share in the market, Fan said during a press conference in Shanghai on Monday.

Context: The Chinese electric vehicle (EV) industry has been on a rebound after a market slump that began in late 2019 and lasted an entire year. Carmakers sold 357,000 EVs in China in September, accounting for more than 20% of monthly new car sales for the first time.

  • Geely announced on Oct. 31 that it is aiming for 40% of its annual sales, by 2025 to be new energy vehicles; that share would total 1.55 million out of the 3.65 million vehicles and would include battery electric, plug-in hybrid, and hydrogen cars. The company also promised to invest RMB 150 billion into research and development by 2025, SCMP reported on Nov. 1.
  • Tesla unveiled its electric truck model Semi in November 2017 but has since delayed volume production until 2022. The Semi truck’s first customer, Pepsico, is expected to accept delivery of 100 pre-ordered vehicles in the last quarter of this year, CNBC reported on Monday, citing PepsiCo CEO Ramon Laguarta.

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