On Friday, Li Auto (2015. HK) announced it would begin mass production and delivery of its first pure electric car in February. This announcement comes as the up-and-coming Chinese carmaker places its bets on the capability of fast-charging technology to alleviate range anxiety for consumers of electric vehicles.
Li Auto has announced that the Mega multi-purpose vehicle (MPV), which will have a front design like a waterdrop, will be fitted with an 800-volt charging infrastructure and the newest Qilin batteries manufactured by Chinese battery giant CATL (300750 SZ). According to the business, the combination would give the Mega a range of 500 kilometers (310 miles) on a charge that took only 12 minutes.
Li Auto, which has already begun accepting pre-orders in China for the new model at an expected price of less than 600,000 yuan ($83,000), hailed the low air resistance of its streaming design, which decreases energy consumption and improves the driving range. The company has already begun taking pre-orders in China.
At the beginning of this month, Chinese media began reporting on the anticipated launch, and an analyst with China Merchants Bank International Securities named Shi Ji claimed in a note that he expected Li Auto to have a monthly sales volume of 5,000 units or more for MEGA. Shi’s statement was published last week.
This would place Li Auto at the top of the prominent market, now headed by Mercedes Benz (MBGn.DE), targeting business customers with its Vito model, which has average monthly sales of 1,400 units. This would put Li Auto at the top of the segment. Li Auto did not remark when asked about its monthly sales goal.
“Li Auto’s MEGA will become the top choice of cars priced above 500,000 yuan for family users, the model with the highest sales among cars in that price range of all fuel types and sizes,” according to the organization.
The MEGA MPV will be the first model produced at the Li Auto facility in Beijing, which has a planned capacity of 100,000 units per year and is located in Beijing.
Li Auto was established in 2015 and now provides four extended-range hybrid SUVs with prices that start at more than 300,000 yuan. These vehicles are intended for use by families. In the first ten months of this year, it ranked seventh by sales volume among makers of electric and hybrid cars in China. However, the company has not disclosed any intentions to sell its automobiles in other countries.
During the third fiscal quarter, the firm reported a net income of 2.82 billion yuan while recording sales of 34.68 billion yuan.