CyberVan! Li Auto’s Mega MPV launches in China alongside ambitious EV expectations

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Li Auto has officially launched its first-ever battery EV, a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) called the Mega. Priced at over RMB 560,000 ($77,800), Li Auto expects the luxury minivan to be a top seller in its segment, contributing to its target of 800,000 vehicles sold this year.

You may not know much about Li Auto ($LI), but it remains a relatively popular automaker in China following less than a decade in business. That early success has come from sales of four models delivered to the market in the last five years.

However, we at Electrek have not covered those vehicles because they’re not BEVs. Until recently, Li Auto’s pipeline consisted of extended-range EVs that still utilize small combustion engines. However, in 2023, the word got out that Li Auto was developing its first full EV.

In September, we got our first spy images of the new all-electric model, albeit camouflaged, driving around in China. Even with the wrap, it was clear that the BEV had a unique van-like shape, almost like an overgrown Toyota Prius.

At the Guangzhou Auto Show last November, Li Auto fully unveiled the EV called the Mega. It’s an all-electric MPV – a growing segment of vehicles in China that are designed for families and livery transportation.

At the time, Li said it had received over 10,000 pre-orders in the first two hours, initially stating the BEV would launch in China priced below RMB 600,00 ($83,370). The Mega hit the market today following a launch event, and it’s priced a bit below that original number – at least for the initial trim now on sale.

Li Auto launches its first full EV model in China

Li Auto posted a full video of the Mega launch event to its Weibo page today, sharing that the initial trim, Max, starts at an MSRP of RMB 559,800 ($77,782). Mega arrives as Li Auto’s first BEV and its most expensive model to date.

The Chinese automaker put a key focus on aerodynamics in the Mega, which delivers a drag coefficient of 0.215. Combined with a large 102.7 kWh pack composed of Qilin batteries from CATL, the MPV offers a CLTC range of 710km (441 miles).

According to Li Auto, those advanced cells also enable speedy charge rates – 500km (311 miles) of range from a 12-minute DC charge. The Mega EV is propelled by dual motors totaling 400 kW of power and 542 Nm of torque, offering the ability to accelerate from 0-100km/h (0-62 mph) in 5.5 seconds. Not bad for a glorified minivan.

Other features include reclining captain chairs, fold-flat seats, a rear fold-down movie screen, and even a tiny refrigerator. With previously laid out targets to sell over 800,000 vehicles this year, Li Auto will lean heavily on its first EV and reiterated expectations for it to become a top seller amongst vehicles priced above RMB 500,000. Li Auto shared that sentiment during the Mega’s November debut:

We are confident that the Li Mega will be the first choice for families priced above RMB 500,000 yuan. It will be the number one seller in that price range, regardless of energy form, regardless of body style.

Per CnEVPost, Li Auto delivered 376,030 in 2023 – one of the few Chinese automakers to reach its annual target (300,000). What do you think? Dope or nope? Would you buy a Cybertruck-style minivan?

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