According to Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun, the firm’s new electric vehicle (EV) subsidiary is on track to start mass production of its first car by the first half of 2024.
The news was revealed at an investor event and was also confirmed by the director of Xiaomi’s international marketing department Zang Ziyuan when he posted about the news on Weibo.
During the event, Lei Jun announced that Xiaomi’s first car will either be a sedan or an SUV. The price range is expected to be between 100,000 yuan (around RM65,080) to 300,000 yuan (around RM195,353), meaning it would be in the mid-to-high-end range.
Xiaomi announced their EV arm called “Xiaomi Qiche” back in March 2021 and completed their registration in August. They have a starting capital of USD 1.5 billion (about 6.2 billion), but they are also planning to invest USD 10 billion (about RM41.6 billion) in the subsidiary over the next 10 years.
To keep up with the fast development of this new unit, Xiaomi hired about 300 workers for it so far. It is still unclear whether Xiaomi will partner with an existing carmaker or not. Given the high barrier to entry for the automotive industry, it is likely that they will team up with a carmaker, but we have yet to know any additional details regarding the matter.
It seems like other Chinese companies are also joining the EV wave, as search engine company Baidu is launching an EV business and Alibaba has formed an EV joint venture with SAIC Motor.
Even Huawei hopped onto the EV trend this year with the Seres SF5. Only available in China, the vehicle isn’t technically a pure EV because it has a combustion engine to help push things along. Still, it’s cool to see so many companies expanding to eco-friendly technology sectors.