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China’s Xiaomi Unveiled Its First Electric Car SU7

BEIJING: Chinese consumer electronics giant Xiaomi unveiled its first electric car model on Thursday (December 28), with its CEO declaring its ambition to become one of the five world’s leading automobile manufacturers.

The sedan, named SU7 with the abbreviation SU for Speed Ultra, is a highly anticipated car model introduced by Xiaomi’s CEO Lei Jun as possessing “super electric motor” technology capable of delivering high speed. Acceleration is faster than both Tesla cars and Porsche electric cars.

But the car is expected to go on sale within months, and comes at a time when China’s auto market, the world’s largest, is grappling with overcapacity and slowing demand causing a fierce price war.

SU7 is also expected to attract customers thanks to its shared operating system with Xiaomi’s popular phones and other electronic devices. Its drivers will have flawless access to the company’s existing portfolio of mobile apps.

The SU7 will be available in two versions: one with a range of up to 668 km on a single charge and another with a range of up to 800 km. They will be competing with Tesla’s Model S, which has a range of up to 650 km.

Pricing has not yet been announced. Lei said the cost would be “indeed be a bit high, but one that everyone will think is justified”.

Amid one of the coldest Decembers on record in China, the SU7 is also positioned to appeal to consumers worried about winter. Lei said it is capable of fast charging at low temperatures and is equipped with advanced technology that allows it to recognize obstacles in harsh conditions, such as falling snow.

However, Lei’s ambitions failed to boost Xiaomi’s share price, as the company’s Hong Kong-listed shares gave up earlier gains and fell 0.3%.

China’s fifth-largest smartphone maker is looking to diversify beyond its core business and move into electric vehicles amid stagnant smartphone demand – plans were first launched by the firm in 2021. Among other Chinese tech companies that have partnered with automakers to develop electric vehicles include telecommunications giant Huawei and search engine Baidu.

Xiaomi has committed to investing $10 billion in cars over a decade and is one of the few new entrants to the Chinese electric vehicle market to receive approval from authorities that have been reluctant to increase oversupply.

Its cars will be produced by a unit of the state-owned BAIC Automobile Group at a factory in Beijing with an annual capacity of 200,000 vehicles.

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