Li Auto announced on Friday its plans to commence mass production and delivery of its inaugural pure electric vehicle in February. The rising Chinese automaker is placing its bets on cutting-edge fast-charging technology to address the prevalent issue of range anxiety among electric vehicle (EV) users.
The company's forthcoming MEGA multi-purpose vehicle (MPV), featuring a distinctive waterdrop-shaped front design, will boast an 800-volt charging architecture and be powered by Chinese battery giant CATL's latest Qilin batteries. According to Li Auto, this combination will provide the MEGA with an impressive range of 500 km (310 miles) after just a 12-minute charge.
Li Auto has already initiated pre-orders for the MEGA in China, estimating a price tag below 600,000 yuan ($83,000). The company highlights the low air resistance of the MPV's streamlined design, emphasizing its ability to reduce energy consumption and extend the driving range.
Anticipating robust demand, Li Auto envisions a monthly sales volume of 5,000 units or more for the MEGA, potentially propelling the company to the forefront of the large-sized MPV segment. Currently, the leading position in this segment is held by Mercedes Benz, whose Vito model targets business users with an average monthly sales volume of 1,400 units.
Li Auto, however, declined to comment on its specific monthly sales target. The company projects that the MEGA MPV will become the preferred choice for family users seeking vehicles priced above 500,000 yuan, predicting it to be the top-selling model in its price range across all fuel types and sizes.
The MEGA MPV represents a significant milestone for Li Auto, as it will be the first model manufactured at the company's Beijing plant, with a design capacity of 100,000 units annually.
Established in 2015, Li Auto currently offers four extended-range hybrid SUVs priced above 300,000 yuan, catering to family users. As of the first ten months of this year, the company ranked seventh in sales volume among manufacturers of electric and hybrid cars in China. Li Auto has not disclosed any plans for international sales.
In the third quarter, the company reported a net income of 2.82 billion yuan and revenue of 34.68 billion yuan.