Xiaomi Revs Up the EV Market with Sporty, Affordable Electric Car

Lei Jun proudly highlighted the SU7's superior features, including a range that surpasses both Tesla's and Porsche's offerings, with a minimum range of 700 km compared to Tesla Model 3's 567km.

Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone giant, has made a significant leap into the electric vehicle (EV) market with the launch of its new sporty electric car, stirring the competition in China’s already bustling EV scene.

Priced competitively below Tesla’s Model 3, the Xiaomi SU7 draws design inspiration from Porsche, signaling the company’s ambitions to make a mark in the luxury EV space.

During a notable event that saw the presence of industry leaders, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun unveiled the SU7’s pricing, with the standard model set at 215,900 yuan ($29,872.02), and the Pro and Max variants at 245,900 yuan and 299,900 yuan respectively.

Lei pointed out, “It’s 30,000 (yuan) cheaper than the Model 3,” emphasizing the competitive edge over Tesla, whose Model 3 starts at 245,900 yuan in China.

Lei Jun proudly highlighted the SU7’s superior features, including a range that surpasses both Tesla’s and Porsche’s offerings, with a minimum range of 700 km compared to Tesla Model 3’s 567km.

This launch marks a milestone for Xiaomi, which announced its venture into the EV market in 2021, with Lei pledging a $10 billion investment into the auto division, termed his “last major entrepreneurship project.”

The Xiaomi SU7, developed in partnership with BAIC Group, received an overwhelming response, with 50,000 orders within 27 minutes of opening for bookings.

With deliveries starting in late April for the Standard and Max models and the Pro model to follow by the end of May, Xiaomi is set to distribute the SU7 through 211 stores across 39 cities in China by year-end.

Despite the challenges of transitioning from electronics to car manufacturing—a feat even tech behemoth Apple shied away from—Lei Jun remains optimistic, celebrating the resilience of those persevering in car production.

While analysts are divided on Xiaomi’s foray into the EV sector, some view it as a natural progression for the brand, which is already a household name in China through its diverse range of consumer electronics. However, the move into the premium EV market represents a significant brand shift, raising questions about consumer acceptance.

The launch comes at a tough time for China’s auto industry, with challenges for new entrants in securing a market foothold.

Despite potential hurdles, Xiaomi’s established revenue streams and expertise in smart technology could provide it with a unique advantage in the smart EV cockpit arena, leveraging its in-house Hyper OS to integrate the EV experience with its range of smart devices.