China’s Geely Introduces Special Electric Car for Waymo

Zeekr is a brand from China’s Geely, which also owns Volvo, Polestar, Lotus, and Lynk & Co. The CM1e is designed for Americans, and it could serve as an autonomous taxi by Waymo. While Zeekr recently introduced its electric cars in Europe, there’s a unique one called the CM1e.

The CM1e is specially made for this purpose. It has sliding doors that open in the center on both sides, and there’s no pillar between them. It’s easy to get in, even though it has a big battery underneath. The floor is covered with a rubber-like material. There are two front seats with fold-down armrests, and behind them, there’s a three-passenger rear seat. The seats and dash are covered in a recycled material called Econyl, which is made from ocean waste like fishing nets. Two airbags are placed in pods on the dash, and there’s a screen provided by Waymo.

If Waymo agrees to this proposal, they would operate the cars, and Zeekr would build them. Zeekr plans to submit its CM1e prototypes to Waymo by the end of the year, but there’s no exact date for when these cars might be available for service.

To access the trunk, there’s a liftgate in the back, and there’s a single motor for the rear. Zeekr claims it can go from 0 to 62 mph in about 8 seconds and reach a top speed of 87 mph. The concept version doesn’t have a steering wheel, but a production version would have one, as self-driving cars aren’t yet allowed without a steering wheel according to local laws. The car uses a drive-by-wire system for steering and braking. All the autonomous technology is provided by Waymo.