Chinese Tech Giant Xiaomi Starts Selling EVs This Month

Chinese tech giant Xiaomi has announced that it will start selling its electric vehicles later this month. When Xiaomi unveiled its first-ever battery electric vehicle — the Speed Ultra 7 (SU7) — in 2023, the company’s chief executive Lei Jun said that the smartphone manufacturer planned to become one of the top five automakers on the globe.

Xiaomi will invest a whopping $10 billion into the automobile segment over the next decade in its quest to achieve those ambitious goals.

According to Lei, the SU7 is powered by “super electric motor” technology that, at zero to 100kph in 2.78 seconds grants the EV faster acceleration than some Porsche and Tesla EVs. Production of the Speed Ultra 7 will occur at a manufacturing plant in Beijing owned by Beijing Automotive Group (BAIC Group), an auto manufacturer owned by the state. The Beijing facility can manufacture up to 200,000 electric cars annually.

Xiaomi’s decision to enter the electric vehicle market comes at a particularly interesting time. China’s EV industry is filled with hundreds of electric vehicle companies vying for a spot in the globe’s large electric vehicle market, creating an atmosphere of ruthless competition where only the very best can succeed. In addition, the Chinese EV market is currently in a price discount war between American EV maker Tesla and major local producers such as BYD, which has forced electric vehicle companies across the board to cut prices.

Xiaomi will need to bring its A-game to compete with companies such as Tesla and BYD, which have years of EV production experience. The fifth-largest phone maker in China is looking to attract existing customers by integrating the SU7’s shared operating system with consumer electronics such as its smartphones. Xiaomi says interested customers can place orders at any of the company’s 59 stores spread across 29 cities.

The news comes weeks after Apple announced that it was folding its electric vehicle development unit and retiring its dreams of developing an electric vehicle in favor of artificial intelligence (AI).

Xiaomi has seemingly done what Apple couldn’t and will begin SU7 sales on March 28, 2024, in dozens of Chinese cities. While Apple has been working on the electric vehicle project for an entire decade, Xiaomi announced plans to develop an EV just three years ago and is already set to begin sales.

Xiaomi leveraged China’s existing EV sector to accelerate its own EV development while Apple essentially had to build a car from scratch. Xiaomi’s partnership with BAIC Group also allowed it to gain access to a manufacturing permit at an accelerated timeline.

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