Xiaomi is already nicknamed “China’s Apple” — and now it’s set to follow the U.S. tech giant’s lead by building its own electric car.
According to Carbuzz, based on a report from Chinese site 36 Krypton, the plans for a Xiaomi electric car are already in progress, with the project expected to be confirmed within the next few months. If true, that would likely put it far ahead of the Apple Car, with recent reports suggesting that the Cupertino model might not arrive until 2024.
Unlike Apple, Xiaomi already has a history in the automotive world. Last year, it teamed up with Lamborghini to make the Ninebot GoKart Pro — a (you guessed it) supercar-inspired GoKart with a 432Wh battery and a 25 mph top speed. And back in 2019, it produced the Redmi Bestune T77, an SUV with a 1.2-liter turbo engine, 6-speed manual gearbox, and 143hp.
The Chinese news report said that Xiaomi’s CEO Lei Jun will lead the project, and that he has already held talks with Chinese luxury EV manufacturer Nio, whose sleek ET7 sedan sits atop this page, about working together on the car.
If the vehicle does get the green light, it’s expected to be aimed at the mid- to high-end market, and to be sold worldwide. That would put it squarely up against Apple, should the Apple Car eventually see the light of day, as well as the likes of Tesla.
Apple’s own car plans appear to have stalled in recent months. Potential partnerships with the likes of Nissan, Hyundai and Kia all appear to have fizzled out, and a recent story suggested it might even turn to iPhone makers Foxconn or other existing contractors to make the Apple Car.
When it does eventually arrive, the Apple Car is expected to something quite special, with LiDAR-based navigation, AI management and monocell battery tech among the many standout features.
Whether Xiaomi’s electric car will be as technologically advanced remains to be seen, but it’s certainly doing well enough on the smartphone front. Last year it overtook Apple to become the world’s third-largest smartphone maker, and we recently gave its new Xiaomi Mi 11 flagship a glowing 4-star review.