This Chinese electric car tech startup left its car lot to rot after filing for bankruptcy
In May 2018, Chinese Internet giant Baidu and Panda Auto, an EV rental operator under the Chongqing-based automaker Lifan Group, jointly launched China’s first shared autonomous vehicle pilot program in Chongqing.
During the one-month trial operation, Panda Auto deployed six autonomous vehicles for the public in the Baidu-Panda Autonomous Vehicle Demonstration Park of Chongqing’s Liangjiang New Area. However, the result of the trial was underwhelming.
In February of this year, the Chinese Car-Hailing Platform Panda Auto shut down amid a debt crisis at the parent company Lifan. The electric car tech startup later filed for bankruptcy. The Lifan 330 EV 01 cars are left in the lot to rot after filing for bankruptcy. A Redditor first spotted the car lot. The unsold electric cars have become yet another relic of consumerism abandoned to rust and rot.
Founded in 2015, Panda Auto had over 20,000 cars and more than 4 million registered users. It operated in 12 cities including Hangzhou, Chengdu, and Zhengzhou. The platform had also secured a license to test autonomous driving in Chongqing.
Panda Auto was unable to refund user deposits within the agreed time period from last July because of the impact of the crisis at Lifan. Lifan was acquired by Geely Auto Group last year after racking up debts of over CNY30 billion (USD4.64 billion).
The parent company Lifan Group was founded in 1992 by Yin Mingshan. Lifan is the maker of Lifan 330 EV 01. The company also develops, manufactures, and sells motorcycles, cars, and gasoline engines.
Below are photos of the Lifan 330 EV 01 before they were left to rot.