With the ongoing EV revolution, a lot of tech companies too are jumping into this EV race. After Apple and Sony announced their plans about making an electric vehicle, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi too will be joining the trend soon. Xiaomi, one of the world's biggest smartphone makers, is reportedly in talks with Great Wall Motor to use one of their plants in China to make EVs under its own brand. This information has been shared by three people with direct knowledge of the matter. However, they have declined to be identified as the information is not public.
Just like with their smartphones and other electronic products, Xiaomi will aim its EVs at the mass market. Great Wall, who have never before offered manufacturing services to other companies, will be provide engineering consultancy to speed up the project, said one of the people. The two companies plan to announce their partnership as early as next week, said one of the people. However, neither Xiaomi nor Great Wall have officially commented anything in this regard yet.
This project comes about as part of Xiaomi's plan to diversify its revenue streams. The bulk of Xiaomi's income comes from their smartphone business. However, the profit margins are razor-thin. This move also comes in the backdrop of automakers and tech firms increasingly working together to develop smarter vehicles with technology such as smart cabins and autonomous driving. Even Baidu Inc, a Chinese search engine, announced in January that it plans to make EVs using a plant owned by Geely. The latter has aspirations to offer engineering consultancy and contract manufacturing.
Xiaomi's founder and chief executive, Lei Jun, believes the firm's expertise in hardware manufacturing will help accelerate the design and production of its EVs, one of the people said. Alongside smartphones, the Chinese tech firm also makes tons of other internet-connected electronic products such as scooters, air purifiers and rice cookers. Xiaomi's cars, when they are launched, can even be connected to other devices in its product eco-system, the people said.
Xiaomi plans to launch its first EV in the market by 2023. Given the tech firm has said that they will be targeting the mass market, it would be interesting to see its positing as compared to EVs from other tech firms and automakers. Meanwhile, Apple in partnership with Hyundai, plan to debut their own EV by 2027 with radical new battery technology.