Alibaba Group backs IM Motors to deliver EVs globally

Through investment in IM Motors, alongside SAIC Motor, Alibaba is now supporting the race to electrify as the automotive business takes on EV development

The global e-commerce giant Alibaba leaves no industry untouched, particularly when electric vehicles (EVs) are high on the global agenda and the business has ample resources to support the rise of alternative cars. 

Partnering with SAIC Motor Corporation, Alibaba Group backs IM Motors, which is now delivering electric cars under and a couple of its brands, including the recently introduced Ora brand under Great Wall Motors. 

IM Group is the the owner of a number of successful car brands, including Mitsubishi, Isuzu, Subaru, and Daihatsu, and is a staple original equipment manufacturer in the industry looking to diversify its offerings and work towards a full EV lineup. 

Alibaba was one of the main collaborators of the IM Motors business, which involved supporting SAIC. This relationship now sees the company—like many other technology corporations—competing with the legacy automakers. With the launch of new EVs, it’s evident that IM Motors is gearing up to bring innovative ideas to the table, compete with others in the automotive industry, and position its brands in the premium market. In August 2023, the company also released plans to expand its range of electric cars, which in turn will require further funding and input from investments.

Selling the world’s cheapest EVs on Alibaba 

Of course, with one of the world’s largest e-commerce sites, Alibaba already offers a number of the cheapest electric cars on the market, although these aren’t the kinds of vehicles that would suit a long trip further than 100 km at anywhere near the speed of the average EV. 

However, the company’s commitment to electrification is no joke, particularly when IM Motors, based in Shanghai, China, received investments of US$1.38bn (10 billion yuan) in 2020 from its benefactors Alibaba and SAIC. 

The company later began production of its L7 model in 2022, which will cost around US$64,000 (408,000 yuan), which hits a completely new end of the spectrum, and is significantly more advanced than a number of EVs, let alone those on its e-commerce site. 

The IM L7 is expected to deliver a 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds and will also enable 11kWh wireless charging. 

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