Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Electric cars are developing a pure electric sedan, the first car with LiDAR and under 45,000 dollars for the top-end version.
The 100% electric car from Chinese tech giant Xiaomi has been talked about for a while now. Even if, for the moment, the amount of information revealed by the brand can be counted on the fingers of one hand, Lei Jun, the founder, president, and CEO of Xiaomi, sometimes gives some subtle clues about the future Chinese electric car.
For the moment, we know that Xiaomi’s electric car will be a sedan equipped with a LiDAR and whose price will be rather accessible given the segment and the technologies it should carry. The Chinese manufacturer should bring its own factory out of the ground in the coming months, according to the latest rumors.
Indeed, according to the media LatePost, the price of the car should be around 43,500 dollars in its most upscale version or roughly the same amount in euros, given the current exchange rate.
A Complex new market for Xiaomi to manage
Last April, Lei Jun launched a poll in which almost 70% of participants wanted Xiaomi’s first 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 dollars).
Even if we don’t yet know the characteristics of the car, or even the different versions that will be offered, we can imagine an entry-level model approaching the price desired by the majority of survey participants.
Increasingly Fierce Competition
The Chinese electric car market is accelerating, and Xiaomi, which will not launch 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 today offer products that sometimes have nothing to envy certain European models. Proof of this is that these manufacturers are now even settling on the Old Continent.
A Lidar for the Xiaomi car
Xiaomi’s strength will also undoubtedly be the onboard technologies and the LiDAR system that will equip its car. Hentai 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 assisted by several backup radars.
The LiDAR AT128, which is its name, is already in service since Hesai supplies it to the Chinese manufacturer Li Auto. The Li L9 SUV is already equipped with it, and its deliveries began a few days ago. LiDAR is 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
For his part, Lei Jun is convinced that the future of the automobile is at the level of autonomous driving. Xiaomi‘s autonomous driving technologies are currently in the test phase, and the Chinese manufacturer hopes to be one of the benchmarks in this sector within the automotive industry. But for that, we will have to wait a while longer since some rumors announced a formalization in August 2022 when others are counting on 2024… Remember that the electric car project at Xiaomi is quite recent since the Chinese brand only formalized this news last March 30.
Xiaomi will invest around 480 million euros in research and development for the first phase of the autonomous driving project. The development team now has around 500 people exclusively dedicated to the development of these technologies. Xiaomi is expected to put about 140 test vehicles into operation across China within a few months to continue development and research in this area.