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Chinese Smartphone Giant Makes $10 Billion Bet On EVs

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi will set up an electric vehicle (EV) unit with an investment of US$10 billion over ten years, joining a competitive electric car market at home.

“The Company will set up a wholly-owned subsidiary to operate the smart electric vehicle business,” the consumer electronics giant best known for its smartphones said in a statement.

Lei Jun, chief executive officer of Xiaomi Corporation, will concurrently serve as the chief executive of the smart electric vehicle business.  

“Xiaomi hopes to offer quality smart electric vehicles to let everyone in the world enjoy smart living anytime, anywhere,” the company said.

Other smartphone makers, including Apple and China’s Huawei, are also said to be planning moves into the EV market.

Late last year, Apple was said to be planning to manufacture an electric passenger vehicle with its own breakthrough battery technology in 2024, in what could be a revival of the iPhone maker’s car project ambitions. Apple targets a mass passenger EV with a battery technology expected to “radically” cut the battery costs and boost the range, a source who has seen the battery design of the cell phone maker told Reuters at the time.

China’s Huawei, for its part, is planning EVs under its own brand and could launch models as early as this year, sources told Reuters in February.

Xiaomi’s announcement about entering the EV market comes at a time when the Chinese electric car market is very competitive, with domestic brands and Tesla vying for dominance.

Analysts are growing increasingly bullish on the EV market globally and in the world’s largest automotive market, China, amid an increased push from governments to cut emissions and promote green recovery from the pandemic. China is set to lead the global EV sales, thanks to government targets for growing new energy vehicles (NEVs) sales, the competitive market, and the Chinese dominance in the supply chain of battery metals and materials, analysts say.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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