SAO PAULO, May 29 (Reuters) - A group of companies aiming to expand urban transportation in Brazil has doubled its electric vehicle target to 20,000 after performing better than expected since its launch in 2022, the initiative's leader, ride-hailing app 99, said on Wednesday.

The alliance, which includes companies such as Raizen , car rental company Movida and Chinese automaker BYD, had planned to reach 10,000 electric cars connected to 99's app by the end of 2025. But, given the figures so far, the group has doubled that target.

"The target was 3,500 this year and we're now at 4,100. We've revised it to 8,000 this year and 20,000 next year," Thiago Hipolito, senior director of innovation at 99, told Reuters.

99, Uber's biggest rival in Brazil and controlled by China's DiDi, did not disclose the investment made in the alliance, but Hipolito said that in the last two years, the group of companies had injected 245 million reais ($47.34 million) into the initiative.

The increase in the target comes shortly after Brazil surpassed Belgium as the largest export market for Chinese new energy vehicles. In April, China's exports of electric cars and plug-in hybrids to Brazil increased 13-fold year-on-year to 40,163 vehicles.

This surge in Chinese electric vehicles in the Brazilian market prompted the government to announce a gradual increase in import taxes on EVs last January. By mid-2026, the tax will reach 35%, but this will not be a problem for the alliance, Hipolito said.

"To get around the import tax, we're going to have a local factory," said the executive, referring to BYD's production centers in Bahia state and GWM's in Sao Paulo.

"We thought tax might be a problem, but with the evolution of strategies and technology, it won't be," said Hipolito, referring to the drop in vehicle prices since 2022 and greater availability of models in the country.

($1 = 5.1750 reais) (Reporting by Alberto Alerigi Jr.; Writing by Peter Frontini; Editing by Bernadette Baum)