Sunday, January 23, 2022 | 01:36 pm

Xiaomi Building An EV Plant In Beijing To Manufacture 300,000 Units Annually

Xiaomi Building An EV Plant In Beijing To Manufacture 300,000 Units Annually

Having announced its plans for manufacturing electric vehicles in September, Xiaomi is now all set to build a large plant in Beijing capable of making 300,000-vehicles in a year. To be built in two phases, the plant is being constructed at an investment of $10 billion over 10 years and aims to become operational by 2024.

The Chinese tech company, primarily known for its budget smartphones had gone official with its electric vehicle venture in September with its CEO Lei Jun suggesting that he would directly be in charge of the new venture into which Xiaomi pumped in $1.5 billion at the outset.

The Xiaomi CEO had also announced that Xiaomi EV Inc., which is what the entity will be known as would be his last major entrepreneurial project. A GizmoChina report said the Chinese government had announced details of the Xiaomi EV plant, which is in line with technology companies worldwide eyeing this growing auto segment.

The manufacturing facility in Beijing is also meant to be the headquarters of Xiaomi EV Inc. that will operate both its research facilities as well as the sales network. The plant is located within the Beijing Economic and Technical Development Zone, says the report quoting an unnamed Chinese government source.

Earlier this month, a report in 36kr claimed that Xiaomi was among two companies to invest in a Chinese battery firm. The investments, worth around $780 million was made in the Beijing Weilan New Energy Ltd., a company that is focusing on the next generation of all-solid-state batteries.

Xiaomi had also revealed that about 14,000 people had been deployed at their research and development center, of whom 500 were employed on the EV project. With the factory being set up, we can speculate that the Xiaomi EV may well hit the market in two years and compete with the likes of Apple, Oppo, and other phone-makers who are aiming for a share of this automobile segment.

Information around Xiaomi’s marketing plans for the electric vehicle hasn’t emerged, though it is safe to assume that the company would first target consumers locally in China. India could be another destination for the company, given that it is witnessing high levels of interest from global EV makers including Tesla.

Of course, this depends on the segment of the EV auto industry that Xiaomi is aiming for. The company had approached prospective buyers with a survey over Weibo and asked the kind of cars they wanted first. Thereafter, Lei Jun had announced that 45% voted for a sedan and 40% chose an SUV with the rest of those surveyed opting for a sports car or recreational vehicles.

The survey also sought information around the price points with a majority of users reportedly pitching for a CNY 100,000 mark which translates to around Rs.11 lakh and the least number preferring a price of CNY 300,000 (Rs.34 lakh). So, it could be safe to assume that Xiaomi could price its EV offerings between these two bands.

Of course, it remains to be seen whether these price points can dent the likes of Tesla, who made an early entry into India, which has seen local brands such as Tata Motors make energetic forays into the EV segment.