Xiaomi has been long rumored to be venturing into the automotive business. It had even been rumored to be working on an electric car. Speculations about Xiaomi’s new product line up were trigerred after the Chinese government announced a plan to encourage new players including non-auto players to manufacture electric cars in the country. Almost after two years since first such rumors, Xiaomi may finally be unveiling an electric car this, if the latest rumors are to be believed. A new teaser posted by Xiaomi on Weibo hints at a new ‘vehicle’ launch on December 12. The teaser doesn’t particularly indicate at a car launch but gives a clear indication at a new vehicle.
The teaser contains skid marks of what looks like tire in the background. The message on the teaser talks about features like E-ABS which is electronic anti-lock braking system. More features mentioned include regenerative breaking, cruise control, perforated brake discs and integrated die-casting motors. All these features however, do not point out to an electric car, it could very well be an electric bike as well. But with just three days more for the launch, we’ll get to know very soon what Xiaomi has in store for us.
Chances of Xiaomi launching an electric car this year are quite slim if we recall Lei Jun’s speech from last year. At the 15th annual meeting of the China entrepreneurs Forum, Lei Jun in his speech confirmed that as of now Xiaomi has no plans for launching an electric vehicle which could go on till five years. He further said that Xiaomi plans to focus on their existing products only for the next three to five years at least.
It’s safe to say that we should not get our hopes up for Xiaomi’s first electric car, but then again we could be surprised with one, considering how Xiaomi unveiled the bezel-less Mi MIX without any word of it in the open. Xiaomi may also launch a concept car and launch it later, following the model of LeEco. LeEco earlier this year showcased concept LeSEE car and has reportedly raised $ 1.08 billion for the project. According to reports, LeEco is making big investments in this segment. Forbes recently reported that the company is going to invest $3 billion to set up a car factory in China.
Talking about Xiaomi’s rumored electric car venture, this dates back two years ago, reports about a car dubbed ‘Mistla’ emerged. Reports suggested that Xiaomi was planning to launch its own car, priced around $6,400 which roughly translates to Rs 4,32,600. But ‘Mistla’ never saw the light of day. ALSO READ: Xiaomi is working on an electric car as China looks to ease automotive norms: Report
If Xiaomi were to venture into the electric car market, this could be a good time, as experts have predicted a bright future for electric cars. In fact, the Chinese market is considered to be the leader currently according to The Guardian, as Chinese-made models have sprung out to be the top five best-selling models. A Bloomberg report also predicts that the sales of electric vehicles will reach 41 million by 2040.
If Xiaomi does launch an electric car on December 12, then this would not be the first electric vehicle that the company has come out with. Back in June this year, Xiaomi had launched Qicycle Electric Folding Bike in China. The highlight of this electric bike is that the whole bike can be folded and easily fit into the trunk of a hatchback. The bike is electrically powered with a 250W 36V high-speed motor paired with torque-sensing capabilities, which will assist the pedaling action. The bike automatically assists the rider with enough power according to how much effort is put into pedaling. The motor is backed by 20 Panasonic batteries; each with 2,900mAh capacity which Xiaomi says is good enough to survive up to 45km on a single charge. ALSO READ: Xiaomi launches Qicycle Electric Folding Bike for urban commuters in China priced at Rs 30,700