Smartphone builder Xiaomi’s first EV coming in Q2 and looks to capitalize on 20M current users

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Less than three years after establishing its own automotive arm to develop and build EVs, Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi sits on the cusp of bringing its flagship model, the SU7, to market. Furthermore, the electronics specialist has high hopes for the vehicle, expecting a large chunk of its 20 million current phone users to consider buying one.

Long before any entry into building EVs, Xiaomi was a household name in China, manufacturing a myriad of electronics based on an Internet of Things (IoT) platform. This includes smartphones, mobile apps, laptops, home appliances, and scooters.

Following a decline in smartphone sales, the consumer electronics specialist began exploring new outlets to maintain its cash flow as an international manufacturer. That led to EVs, and by 2021, Xiaomi Automobile was incorporated in China.

We’ve followed the tech company along its journey to joining an exciting but saturated EV space, especially in China. However, since EVs are filled with more software and microchips than mechanical parts, Xiaomi has a fair shot at breaking into the segment, and all progress to this point has been encouraging.

In fact, by March 2023, Xiaomi’s EV progress was progressing faster than expected, and production could begin as early as mid-2024. From there, we caught our first glimpse of the new EV arm’s first model – the SU7. By December 2023, Xiaomi had officially launched the SU7 as a challenger to Porsche and who else but Tesla.

While the EV debuts at a premium price tag, Xiaomi believes its customer loyalty of 20 million users will translate to notable sales, especially touting a holistic system between the car and other Xiaomi devices as a selling point.

Xiaomi EV
Source: Xiaomi Automobile

Xiaomi’s SU7 EV could hit the market in next few months

According to a recent interview with CNBC, Xiaomi Group President Weibing Lu believes customers will be willing to pay a premium for the SU7. However, we have yet to determine what that official pricing will be.

This is a bold move as many automakers, particularly those in China trying to expand their global presence, are slashing EV prices to entice first-time buyers. Lu elaborated:

We think it’s a good starting point for us in the premium segment because we have already 20 million premium users in China based on the smartphone. I think the initial purchases will be very overlapped with the smartphone users.

Xiaomi’s operating system in the SU7 EV builds off the company’s IoT expertise, connecting future owners with other electronics like their smartphones and home appliances already out in the world. Another reason for the higher price is to help offset the funds Xiaomi funneled into the development of the SU7, equating to $10 billion so far.

While we’ve gotten a complete look at the SU7 and confirmed it will feature an 800V platform complete with a massive 101 kWh battery, we have yet to determine all the pertinent specs, including pricing. However, Xiaomi Group’s CEO has promised a formal release is coming “very soon” and hinted that deliveries of the flagship EV could begin in China as early as Q2 2024.

It will be interesting to see how Xiaomi fairs if and when it enters the EV market. We’ve seen other smartphone competitors like Apple continuously promise a bespoke EV and punt development year after year… after year. We’ve also seen other Chinese electronics brands like Huawei build EVs but with the help of seasoned automakers like Chery.

Meanwhile, EV automakers like NIO have explored the opposite path, branching out from cars to developing their own smartphones. This is more evidence that software-defined vehicles like EVs are the future, and holistic systems of all IoT electronics show tremendous potential. We will just have to see how sales pan out. Here’s a good look at the upcoming SU7 EV:

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