Lynk & Co, Another Failed EV Startup

Ambitious EV Startup from Chinese mega-group Geely failed to meet its goal of a U.S. launch in 2020. Read on to find out why.
Written by Allison Stone
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Electric cars
are hotter than ever, but increased demand for an alternative to gas-powered vehicles in tandem with limited supply has only tightened the competition for the EV industry.
The pressure is enough to cause massive setbacks for even the most established of legacy brands. Even with backing from investors or a larger parent company,
EV startups
are dropping left and right.  
Lynk & Co.—a promising EV sub-brand from
Chinese automaker
Geely—was poised to come to the U.S. in 2020, but mysteriously failed to launch. However, that might not be the end of Lynk’s story. 
Learn more with car ownership super app
as we get into how Lynk & Co. came to be, why it failed to launch in the U.S., and what plans it has for the future.

What is Lynk & Co.?

According to
Car and Driver
, the EV startup is an offshoot of one of China’s largest multinational automotive companies Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., Ltd, commonly known as just Geely. In China, the first Lynk & Co. EV—the 01 crossover—went on sale back in 2017. 
Following the 01’s success abroad, Geely had plans to bring its cars to North America with the intention of opening a San Francisco office by 2020, but that dream never came to fruition. 
Speaking to Car and Driver, CEO Alain Visser confirmed that Lynk & Co. still has ambitions to make it to the U.S. "I’m convinced there's a market for our offering. Not everywhere, but in California, New York, and some other places," said Visser. 
Lynk & Co. currently operates in China and throughout seven countries in Europe. 
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Lynk & Co.’s innovative business model 

For U.S. markets, Lynk & Co.’s structure is very unconventional.
It functions more like a subscription service, and while they are growing in popularity in North America, these types of car services still remain somewhat of a niche offering in the U.S. automotive segment. 
To drive a Lynk & Co. car, users pay a flat fee that’s the equivalent of about $500 per month. With it comes the use of the car, insurance, and any necessary maintenance fees. There’s no commitment, but if you keep the car for a year, it gets replaced with a new model. 
Not only that, but users have the option to share their car with anyone else who is a member of the Lynk & Co. app for any duration of time at whatever price they choose. 
The European Lynk & Co. network currently boasts 120,000 app users and 17,000 cars. The company claims to sell 150,000 cars per year in China. 

Will Lynk & Co. ever make it to the U.S.?

Visser still has sights set on an eventual U.S. home base, but isn’t looking to California for its home base anymore.Following in Tesla’s footsteps, Lynk & Co. has its sights set on Austin, Texas to open its first stateside brand experience center. 
The presence of Lynk & Co. in the states would also be a huge departure from the norm of car-buying through franchise-based dealership networks. Working around strict dealership laws has proved challenging for the business, which does 99% of its sales online. 
"We would almost be registered in the U.S. as a rental car company more than a car-selling enterprise. We won't have dealerships,” said Visser, “but if Tesla had problems as an American company in the U.S., it would be definitely difficult for us."
MORE: Why Are Electric Cars Getting More Expensive if Batteries Are Getting Cheaper?

Getting car insurance for an EV

It may be a while longer before Lynk becomes operational in the United States, but you don’t have to wait to start saving on your car insurance plan. 
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