Xiaomi published the price of its first car, attacking the cheapest Tesla


The CEO and founder of Xiaomi, Lej Tyun, announced plans to enter the electric car market in 2021. He pledged to invest ten billion USD (about 235 billion CZK) in the automotive business, calling this business the “last big business project” of his life. His goal is for Xiaomi, founded in 2010, to become one of the five largest car manufacturers in the world within 15 to 20 years.

Analysts are so far divided on whether Xiaomi’s car project will be successful. Some argue that for Xiaomi, the electric car is a natural extension of the business, allowing the company to offer customers a more complete digital experience and capture more data. Xiaomi rice cookers, air purifiers, TVs, phones and other electronics are ubiquitous in Chinese households.

The SU7 goes on sale at a time when China’s auto market, the world’s largest, is struggling on several fronts. Add to that a price war and a slowing domestic economy that is reducing demand for cars.

“In three years of developing this new car, my biggest realization is that making cars is extremely difficult. Even a giant like Apple has given up,” said the head of Xiaomi.

In addition to the basic version of the SU7 electric car, the company will also offer more expensive Pro and Max versions. The company will start deliveries of the basic version and the Pro variant at the end of April, deliveries of the Max version at the end of May. All three versions will be sold only in China for now. The head of the company told CNBC that it will take at least two to three years for the SU7 to reach foreign markets.

“Current conditions in the (Chinese) market are quite challenging for newcomers, the top ten players are constantly increasing their market share,” said Gavekal Dragonomics analyst Ernan Cui. According to her, if Xiaomi is unable to sell in large quantities in a short period of time, there is a risk that cars will become an obstacle to the company’s long-term profit generation.

But the company’s expertise in smartphones also gives it an edge over traditional automakers when it comes to smart dashboards and instrumentation, according to analysts. This is an area that Chinese consumers appreciate.

The SU7 uses the Hyper OS operating system developed by Xiaomi, which connects EV users with its other devices, including smartphones.

From 0 to 100 in 5 seconds

The basic model is equipped with one electric motor that drives only the rear wheels. The car will offer a maximum power of 299 hp and 400 Nm of torque, it can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.28 seconds and its maximum speed is 210 km/h. A battery with a capacity of 73.6 kWh will allow a range of 700 km according to the Chinese CLTC protocol, but the figures for the European WLTP regulation would be lower.

The middle variant Pro for 245,900 Chinese yuan (CZK 800,000) has the same performance, but a larger battery with a capacity of 94.3 kWh according to CLTC will allow a range of 830 km. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h takes 5.7 seconds, the maximum speed is 210 km/h.

The top version Max for 299,900 Chinese yuan (970,000 CZK) will offer a pair of electric motors and all-wheel drive, the highest output of 673 horsepower and 838 Nm of torque. It promises acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.78 seconds and a maximum speed of up to 265 km/h. The 101kWh battery according to CLTC offers a range of 800 km.

The car supports fast charging, but the company has not yet specified the maximum performance. However, when using the maximum power, the car should get a range of up to 220 km after only 5 minutes of charging, after 15 minutes the range should increase to 510 km.

Research firm CreditSights expects Xiaomi to sell 60,000 vehicles in the first year. According to her, the production of Xiaomi cars will be at a loss for the first two years due to the high costs of marketing and promotion.

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The article is in Czech

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