Founded by a titan in China’s entrepreneurial community and backed by a battle-hardened internet billionaire, on July 30 Li Auto became the second Chinese new energy vehicle (NEV) maker to list on an American stock market after its $1.1 billion Nasdaq IPO. 

The company’s strategy is uniquely low-key. Instead of pursuing fully electric vehicles, Li Auto is focused on plug-in hybrid vehicle technology. It hopes this will calm customers’ anxiety over vehicle range and reduce the high cost of EV ownership in China.

While competitors Nio and Xpeng have modeled their tactics after Tesla’s flashy approach, Li Auto has fashioned itself in Toyota’s image. It has applied the Japanese automaker’s cost-cutting strategies to the premium vehicle market. 

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Jill Shen

Jill Shen is Shanghai-based technology reporter. She covers Chinese mobility, autonomous vehicles, and electric cars. Connect with her via e-mail: jill.shen@technode.com or Twitter: @yushan_shen