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May 29, 2024

Xiaomi Aims to Disrupt EV Market with New SU7 Sedan

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Dec 29, 2023

Chinese tech giant Xiaomi unveiled its first electric vehicle, the SU7 sedan, on Thursday. The company, best known for its smartphones, is aiming to compete with the likes of Tesla and Porsche in China’s lucrative but crowded EV market.

Xiaomi Promises Impressive Performance at a Competitive Price

The Xiaomi SU7 sports some impressive specs for a newcomer auto brand [1]. Highlights include:

  • 800km (497 mile) range
  • 0-100km/h (0-62mph) acceleration in under 3 seconds
  • 150kWh battery capacity
  • Support for advanced driver-assistance systems

Xiaomi founder Lei Jun said the SU7 matches or exceeds rival EVs in major areas while being priced competitively [2]. Specific pricing was not announced but is rumored to start around $50,000 [3].

Spec Xiaomi SU7 Tesla Model S Porsche Taycan
Range (mi/km) 497/800 405/652 227/365
0-60 mph (s) < 3 2.3 2.6
Battery (kWh) 150 100 93
Price (USD) ~$50k $104k $88k

Comparison of key specs between the Xiaomi SU7, Tesla Model S and Porsche Taycan

The SU7’s combination of performance, range and anticipated pricing poses a serious threat to EV incumbents. Xiaomi is betting its global brand recognition and expertise in hardware and software can shake up the auto industry.

Years in the Making

Xiaomi’s EV program has been in development since 2013 under a special team Lei Jun formed that year [4]. The smartphone maker acquired dozens of autonomous driving and chip design startups to build its engineering capabilities. Lei Jun has said Xiaomi is planning a massive $10 billion investment in its EV business over the next decade.

The SU7 reveal comes shortly after Chinese tech rival Huawei unveiled its first EV model earlier this month. Chinese EV startups like Nio, XPeng and Li Auto have also been growing rapidly in recent years. However, Xiaomi is the first top-tier Chinese consumer tech company to fully jump into auto manufacturing.

Software at the Forefront

As a leader in smartphone operating systems and apps, Xiaomi is promoting advanced software as a key selling point of the SU7 [5]. Lei Jun emphasized the vehicle’s self-driving readiness and smartphone-integration during the unveiling event. He demoed features like automatic parking, autonomous highway driving and a cabin interface with full smartphone app integration.

The company says over-the-air software updates will continually add new features. Xiaomi is also launching an ecosystem of transportation services centered around the SU7, including insurance, finance, charging and more. This echoes Tesla’s strategy of focusing on software and integrated services alongside vehicle sales.

Software Feature Description
Automatic Parking Parks itself with no human input
Autonomous Highway Driving Drives itself on highways without human supervision
Smartphone Integration Mirrors and controls smartphone apps/services from dashboard
Over-the-Air Updates Allows new features and fixes to be installed remotely

Key advanced software features of the Xiaomi SU7

Mass Production Expected in H2 2024

Xiaomi has not started production yet but displayed near-final prototypes of the SU7 at Thursday’s launch event. Lei Jun stated that mass production will begin in the second half of 2024 [6]. An initial target of 300,000 units sold in 2024 was rumored in Chinese media.

The company is building a $1.6 billion EV plant with Great Wall Motors in Anhui province to manufacture its first cars [7]. Xiaomi is expected to take advantage of Great Wall’s expertise to accelerate manufacturing scale-up.

Outlook: Tough Road Ahead Despite Strong Debut

With its strong brand, engineering scale and vision of software-led vehicles, Xiaomi checks a lot of boxes on its EV debut. Early reactions have been very positive, with some Chinese outlets dubbing the SU7 a “Tesla killer from China” [8]. Xiaomi gave global juggernauts clear notice that it aims to be a major force in EVs.

However, several challenges remain. Supply chain constraints could hamper Xiaomi’s 2024 production targets. Growing safety concerns may introduce tighter regulations on self-driving tech. Most uncertain is whether consumers will embrace a smartphone brand for such a major purchase as a car. Brand loyalty plays an outsized role in auto purchases.

Still, by backup up its software chops with strong hardware and liberal access to Chinese capital, Xiaomi has a fighting chance to realize founder Lei Jun’s vow to “beat Tesla by a small margin” [9]. The next two years will be crucial to turning prototypes into mass market reality.

References

  1. https://www.autoblog.com/2023/12/28/xiaomi-su7-revealed-as-first-car-for-smartphone-maker/
  2. https://www.caixinglobal.com/2023-12-28/xiaomi-launches-its-first-ev-with-ambition-to-rival-foreign-carmakers-102150740.html
  3. https://fortune.com/asia/2023/12/28/china-xiaomi-electric-vehicles-su7-unveiled-elon-musk-prediction-chinese-ev-makers/
  4. https://www.cnbc.com/2023/12/28/chinas-xiaomi-unveils-first-ev-in-bid-to-compete-with-porsche-tesla.html
  5. https://techcrunch.com/2023/12/28/xiaomi-su7-ev-smartphone-software/
  6. https://cnevpost.com/2023/12/28/xiaomi-unveils-1st-ev-model-su7/
  7. https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202312/29/WS658e1986a31040ac301aa0cb.html
  8. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-12906997/amp/xiaomi-electric-vehicle-su7-china-tesla-killer.html
  9. https://www.forbes.com/sites/ywang/2023/12/28/billionaire-lei-jun-vows-to-overtake-tesla-as-he-unveils-xiaomis-first-electric-vehicle/
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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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