Li Auto, a Chinese automaker, has announced that it will commence mass production and delivery of its first fully electric vehicle (EV) in February. The company is placing its bets on fast-charging technology to address the issue of range anxiety among EV users. The new vehicle, called MEGA, is a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) featuring a distinctive waterdrop-shaped front design.
One of the key highlights of the MEGA is its 800-volt charging architecture and the use of CATL’s latest Qilin batteries. This combination enables the vehicle to achieve an impressive range of 500 km (310 miles) on just a 12-minute charge. The fast-charging capabilities of this EV are set to revolutionize the industry by offering a practical solution to range limitations, making electric vehicles a more viable option for everyday use.
Li Auto has already started accepting pre-orders for the MEGA in China, with an estimated price under 600,000 yuan ($83,000). The company prides itself on the MEGA’s low air resistance, resulting from its sleek and streamlining design. This design feature not only reduces energy consumption but also extends the driving range of the vehicle.
With over 10,000 pre-orders received by noon (0400 GMT), the MEGA aims to challenge global auto brands in the large-sized MPV market, currently dominated by gasoline vehicles. Li Auto has set ambitious goals, aiming to outsell renowned auto manufacturers like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi in China by 2024.
While the MEGA caters to larger families, Bill Russo, CEO of Automobility, a Shanghai-based advisory firm, believes that the Chinese millennial generation, with growing affluence and a need for spacious vehicles, will find it particularly appealing. Russo states, “All that existed for that category was a way too expensive Toyota Alphard and a GM GL8, which is basically a businessman’s lease car… they don’t pay attention to anything other than the driver.”
Li Auto anticipates achieving a monthly sales volume of 5,000 units or more for the MEGA. This places the company in a strong position to compete with established market leaders such as Mercedes-Benz, whose Vito model targets business users and achieves average monthly sales of 1,400 units in the MPV segment.
Li Auto sees the MEGA MPV as the top choice among cars priced above 500,000 yuan for family users. The vehicle offers unparalleled sales within its price range across all fuel types and sizes. Manufacturing of the MEGA MPV will take place at Li Auto’s Beijing plant, which has a production capacity of 100,000 units annually.
Li Auto, founded in 2015, currently offers four extended range hybrid SUVs targeted at family users. Although the company ranks seventh in sales volume for electric and hybrid cars in China, it has not yet outlined any plans for international sales.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: When will Li Auto start mass production of its first fully electric vehicle?
A: Li Auto plans to begin mass production and delivery of its first fully electric vehicle in February.
Q: What is the range of Li Auto’s new electric vehicle on a 12-minute charge?
A: Li Auto’s new electric vehicle, the MEGA, is expected to achieve a range of 500 km (310 miles) with a 12-minute charge.
Q: How does the MEGA MPV differentiate itself from existing models in the market?
A: The MEGA MPV boasts an innovative waterdrop-shaped front design, as well as a low air resistance streaming design, reducing energy consumption and extending the driving range.
Q: What are Li Auto’s sales targets for the MEGA MPV?
A: Li Auto anticipates achieving a monthly sales volume of 5,000 units or higher for the MEGA MPV.
Q: Which automakers does Li Auto aim to outsell in China by 2024?
A: Li Auto aims to outsell renowned auto manufacturers like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi in China by 2024.