Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi has given the first glimpse of its debut electric vehicle, a five-seat sedan with a panoramic glass roof.
A filing released by China’s ministry of industry & IT on Wednesday shows the long-anticipated EV will be branded Beijing Xiaomi SU7 and manufactured by state-owned Beijing Automotive Group Co.
The car has a sleek exterior and the option to install sensing technology known as lidar on the top of its windscreen for advanced assisted driving. It has a top speed of 265km/h and weighs 2.66t. The EV is powered by batteries from Contemporary Amperex Technology and BYD, depending on whether it has a single or dual motor configuration.
All Chinese car makers are required to submit new models to the MIIT, and products that have received preliminary approval are published each month in a catalogue that’s open to the public for one week to submit feedback. The release of the information doesn’t necessarily correspond to the production timeline. Xiaomi has previously said its EV will officially be launched in the first half of next year.
One of China’s largest consumer electronics brands, Xiaomi joins other technology firms like Chinese conglomerate Huawei Technologies in pushing into electric vehicles. Offerings are becoming increasingly tech-laden, with features like voice control and assisted driving software popular with drivers.
The Xiaomi-branded EV is a critical link in the company’s plan to create “an all-around ecosystem” for its customers. It’s already revamped the operating system for smartphones and other home appliances to include EVs in the future so users will able to control all types of Xiaomi products on a unified platform.
Crowded and competitive
But it’s entering a crowded and increasingly competitive motoring sector in China. Market leader BYD is releasing a slew of new models, as are smaller EV makers such as Li Auto, Geely Automobile Holdings, and its luxury Zeekr brand. Volkswagen and Xpeng are planning at least two new VW-badged models for China, with the first due to arrive in 2026, while Stellantis has struck a deal with Zhejiang Leapmotor Technology.
The world’s biggest car market has also been embroiled in a fierce price war this year, after Tesla slashed the prices across its range, forcing rivals to follow suit. — Linda Lew, with Gao Yuan and Dong Cao, (c) 2023 Bloomberg LP