Following the launch of nine satellites last June, Geely’s space unit said it plans to launch another group two of 11 satellites in early 2024 to improve the Chinese car maker’s integrated terrestrial and space smart travel ecosystem.
The Geely Galaxy E8, which will be launched in January next year, will be equipped with the company’s self-developed satellite communication functionality. In October this year, Geely Holding’s sub-brand, Zeekr, unveiled its K001 FR model that was also equipped with satellite communication able to achieve two-way satellite messaging and two-way satellite calls.
Geely previously said that it plans to complete the networking of 72 low Earth orbit satellites by 2025, thereby enabling Geely vehicles to achieve global positioning capabilities without blind spots. The initiative demonstrates Geely’s belief that the aerospace and the automotive industry will become deeply integrated in the future to achieve intelligent driving.
"The large-scale integration of the aerospace industry and the automotive industry will bring profound changes to commercial application scenarios." In Geely’s view, Geespace, under Geely Holding Group, is laying out the entire commercial aerospace industry chain and building a low Earth orbit satellite constellation. This will empower the automotive brands under Geely Holding Group to achieve electrification and intelligent transformation. "
Other Chinese car makers are doing similar things. Changan Automobile showcased the prototype of a model equipped with "vehicle satellite communication" earlier this year. Through low Earth orbit satellites, it can achieve global coverage and constant connectivity, with production expected to start as early as next year.
The global satellite internet market size is expected to reach US$4 billion in 2023 and exceed US$17.1 billion by 2028, with a five-year compound annual growth rate of 33.7%, according to MarketsandMarkets forecasts. A Chinese researcher Taibo predicts that the Chinese market alone expected to reach a scale of 2.8 trillion yuan by 2025.
The Chinese government has released supportive policies to encourage the development of the satellite communications sector. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology publicly is seeking public feedback on a policy that includes promoting the reform of the satellite internet business access system.
In June 2022, Geely first launched at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center with a single rocket carrying nine satellites and has been stably operating in orbit for over a year.