Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is working on its first car, a 100% electric sedan that will be equipped with a LiDAR and whose price will be below the €45,000 threshold for the most sophisticated version.
The 100% electric car from Chinese tech giant Xiaomi has been talked about for some time now. Even though, for now, the amount of information revealed by the brand can be counted on the fingers of one hand, Lei Jun, founder, president and CEO of Xiaomi, sometimes gives some subtle clues about the future Chinese electric car.
At the moment we know that Xiaomi’s electric car will be a sedan equipped with a LiDAR and whose price will be quite affordable taking into account the segment and the technologies that it will have to embark on. The Chinese manufacturer is expected to bring its own factory off the ground in the coming months, according to the latest rumors.
In fact, according to LatePost media, the price of the car should be around $43,500 on its high-end versionor approximately the same amount in euros, given the current exchange rate.
A new complex market to manage for Xiaomi
Last April, Lei Jun launched a survey in which almost 70% of the participants wanted the first Xiaomi car to cost no more than 150,000 RMB (about 22,000 euros). At the same time, 10% wanted it to cost more than 300,000 RMB (about 44,000 euros).
Even if we still don’t know the characteristics of the car, or even the different versions that will be offered, we can imagine an entry model approaching the price desired by most survey participants.
Increasingly fierce competition
The Chinese electric car market is accelerating and Xiaomi, which will not release its first model before 2024, will have to offer a product with enough arguments to face very fierce competition, especially in China. MG, XPeng, BYD…
All these Chinese manufacturers are already well established and now offer products that sometimes have nothing to envy to certain European models. Proof of this is that these manufacturers are now even establishing themselves in the Old Continent.
A LiDAR for Xiaomi’s car
Xiaomi’s strength will also undoubtedly be on-board technologies and the LiDAR system that will equip your car. Hesai Technology will be the supplier and will develop a multitude of radars and sensors for the Chinese manufacturer’s future electric car. In detail, there will be a LiDAR aided by several backup radars.
The LiDAR AT128, that’s its name, has been in service since Hesai supplies it to the Chinese manufacturer Li Auto. The Li L9 SUV is already equipped with it and its deliveries started a few days ago. LiDAR is quite the opposite of the path taken by Tesla, which wants to rely only on cameras and not even on radars as we have seen recently. But XPeng also plans to rely on a LiDAR for autonomous driving, like some European manufacturers.
Xiaomi bets on autonomous driving
In turn, Lei Jun is convinced that the future of the car lies in autonomous driving. Xiaomi’s standalone technologies are currently in the testing phase, and the Chinese manufacturer hopes to be a part of it. references in this sector in the automotive industry. But for that, we will have to wait a little longer, since some rumors announced a formalization in August 2022 while others count on 2024… Remember that the electric car project at Xiaomi is quite recent, since the Chinese brand only formalized it this news last March 30th.
Xiaomi will invest around 480 million euros in research and development for the first phase of the autonomous driving project. The development team currently has around 500 people dedicated exclusively to developing these technologies. Xiaomi is expected to put about 140 test vehicles into operation in China within a few months to continue development and research in this area.
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