Shares of Li Auto Inc. (NASDAQ:LI) experienced an uptick following the announcement that the Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker will begin mass-producing its first all-electric model in February 2024. The highly anticipated vehicle has already garnered significant interest, with 10,000 pre-orders in China.
Targeting range anxiety concerns prevalent among EV users, the new model boasts a substantial 310-mile range achievable with just a 12-minute fast charge. Initially, the car will be available exclusively in the Chinese market, with no immediate plans for release in the U.S. and Europe.
Li Auto Inc. (NASDAQ:LI) disclosed on Friday its plans to commence mass production and delivery of its inaugural fully electric car next year. The company is focusing on fast-charging technology to alleviate range anxiety issues. The upcoming MEGA multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) features a unique waterdrop-shaped front design and incorporates an 800-volt charging system.
It will be powered by the latest Qilin batteries from Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited, facilitating a 500 km (310 miles) range on a mere 12-minute charge.
Priced under 600,000 yuan ($83,000), the MEGA MPV also highlights a streamlined design to reduce air resistance, thereby lowering energy consumption and extending its driving range. Li Auto (NASDAQ:LI) has already commenced pre-ordering in China, with the vehicle receiving over 10,000 orders by noon.
Bill Russo, CEO of Shanghai-based Automobility, commented on the MEGA’s appeal, particularly to affluent, millennial Chinese families who require larger vehicles. He contrasted the MEGA with the more expensive Toyota Alphard and the GM GL8, noting the latter’s focus on business users rather than family-oriented features.
According to China Merchants Bank International Securities analyst Shi Ji, Li Auto anticipates a monthly sales volume of over 5,000 units for the MEGA. The current market leader in the MPV segment, Mercedes-Benz (OTC:MBGAF), targets business users with its Vito model, averaging monthly sales of 1,400 units.
While Li Auto refrained from commenting on its sales targets, the company expressed confidence that the MEGA MPV will become a top choice for family users in the above 500,000 yuan price range, surpassing sales of other cars in that segment across all fuel types and sizes.
The MEGA MPV marks the first vehicle to be produced at Li Auto’s Beijing plant, which has an annual design capacity of 100,000 units. Founded in 2015, Li Auto currently offers four extended range hybrid SUVs, primarily designed for families and priced above 300,000 yuan. Ranking seventh in sales volume among electric and hybrid car manufacturers in China for the first ten months of the year, the company has not yet announced plans to market its vehicles overseas.
Li Auto reported a net income of 2.82 billion yuan and revenue of 34.68 billion yuan in the third quarter.
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