Xiaomi unveils its own electric vehicle

The Chinese manufacturer of smartphones competes in the Tesla / Porsche class.

Xiaomi, renowned for its budget-friendly smartphones and smart devices, ventures into the electric vehicle (EV) arena with the launch of its Xiaomi Speed Ultra 7 (SU7) sedan, presented by Lei Jun (pictured below), chairman and CEO, at an event in Beijing on 28 March 2024.

The SU7, positioned as a sporty four-door sedan, is a key component of Xiaomi's vision for an interconnected ecosystem merging "Human x Car x Home" technology, the company said on its official website. Priced between 215,900 yuan (some $29,800) and 299,900 yuan ($41,500) in China, the SU7 competes directly with Tesla's Model 3, boasting a starting price approximately $4,000 cheaper.

The competitive pricing positions Xiaomi favorably against foreign counterparts, such as Porsche and Tesla, according to Lei Jun.

With a starting range of 700 kilometers (435 miles), exceeding that of Tesla's Model 3 long-range version, the SU7 collected over 50,000 units ordered within 27 minutes of sales opening, he added.

Battery efficiency

Xiaomi especially praised its self-developed CTB Integrated Battery Technology through innovative Inverted Cell Technology, multifunctional elastic interlayer, and a minimalistic wiring system.

It features a battery integration efficiency of 77.8%, the highest of CTB batteries worldwide, a 24.4% overall performance improvement, and a height reduction of 17mm, with a maximum battery capacity of up to 150 kWh and theoretical CLTC recharge range exceeding 1,200 km.

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The sides of the battery cells feature 165 pieces of aerogel insulation material, capable of resisting temperatures up to 1000°C.

Also, its HyperEngine V8s, with a maximum speed of 27,200 rpm, 425kW output, and 635N·m peak torque, sets a global record for E-motors. HyperEngine V8s is still in development, expected to be mass-produced for Xiaomi EVs in 2025. The model on display has a HyperEngine V6/V6s E-motor, which is slightly inferior to V8 but yet surpassing the most powerful mass-produced electric motor globally, according to the official description.

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The event witnessed the presence of key figures from more than 200 Chinese EV manufacturers. Despite government subsidies boosting the EV market, intense competition has led to a price war, driving down profit margins, but Chinese makers are hopeful that their cheaper models would challenge successfully European, Japanese and American auto giants.

Xiaomi's foray into EVs reflects a strategic shift, leveraging its established brand presence and technological prowess. Previously investing $10 billion into smart EVs, Xiaomi aims to capitalize on China's growing EV market, which is poised to account for 42% to 45% of auto sales in 2024, from 36% in 2023, according to Fitch Ratings.

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