The first glimpse of the long-awaited electric car from tech giant Xiaomi isn’t far off. According to Chinese media reports, the EV prototype is ready to be unveiled by Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun at a public function scheduled for next month (August).
The website Sina Technology (opens in new tab) in a report, citing top Xiaomi sources, said the prototype reveal would be followed by a series of tests with it. In all likelihood, Xiaomi’s alleged EV would enter mass production by 2024.
He further said that Xiaomi Auto has hired a team from Shanghai HVST Automobile Design, which is also behind the design and engineering of the WM Motor Maven conceptual model.
Apparently, Lei Jun is personally putting hard feet on Xiaomi’s car project. He is said to spend nearly two-thirds of his time with the Xiaomi Auto team whenever he is at Xiaomi Technology Park (near Beijing).
Xiaomi EV plans: The story so far
The Chinese tech company, known primarily for its budget smartphones, made its electric vehicle venture official last September. Lei Jun had made it clear that he would be directly responsible for the new venture in which Xiaomi injected $1.5 billion at the beginning.
Xiaomi, which is building a large factory in Beijing capable of making 300,000 vehicles a year, is working on four electric car models — two in the mid-range and two in the high-end segments.
Xiaomi’s electric vehicle factory is being prepared with an investment of $10 billion over 10 years. Initially, the plant will have a capacity of 150,000 EVs and will soon double to 30,000 EVs per year.
Earlier Chinese media reports also said that Xiaomi is among the two companies to invest in a Chinese battery company. The investments, worth about $780 million, were made in Beijing Weilan New Energy Ltd., a company that is focusing on the next generation of all solid-state batteries.
Recently, an image of a self-driving vehicle appeared, with the Xiaomi sticker. The photo showed a blue sedan that has a LiDAR system on the roof and stickers on the side that say ‘Xiaomi Autonomous Driving Test’ in Chinese and ‘Xiaomi Pilot Test’ in English. Xiaomi is believed to have purchased 200 BYD Han vehicles to collect autonomous driving data.