Huawei on Tuesday revealed its first all-electric sports utility vehicle, the Aito M5, in collaboration with Chinese automaker Seres. The new model will compete with Tesla’s Model Y and others in the world’s biggest electric vehicle market.
Why it matters: Huawei, along with Seres, has quickly expanded its vehicle offering with two plug-in hybrid crossovers and a full-electric version, just six months after delivering the first Aito-branded vehicle in March. The telecom giant’s moves in the space could pose a serious threat to major EV makers.
Details: The Aito M5 all-electric will have an estimated driving range of 620 kilometers (385 miles), surpassing its rivals. For example, Tesla’s Model Y has a 545km driving range, EVs from German automakers BMW and Audi offer around 550km between charges.
- Richard Yu, chief executive of Huawei’s consumer business group, said that the Aito M5 performs “far better” than Tesla’s Model Y and offers a more luxurious in-car experience. Yu claimed the M5 is easier to control on rough roads and has a quieter cabin.
- Huawei said it received more than 30,000 pre-orders in just four hours after the all-electric M5 was announced, local media reported. In December, the tech giant saw 6,500 reservations in four days after releasing the first vehicle model under the Aito marque, the plug-in hybrid M5.
- The new model comes at a price range of between RMB 288,600 and RMB 319,800 ($41,395 to $45,870), at least RMB 38,800 higher than the starting price of its plug-in hybrid counterpart but lower than Tesla’s Model Y, which is priced from RMB 316,900.
Context: Huawei broke its delivery record with more than 10,000 EVs to customers in August, bringing the company’s total delivery numbers for this year to 39,433 vehicles as of August. Meanwhile, sales of rivals such as Li Auto and Xpeng Motors slid last month due to cannibalization by new models and increased competition.
- Huawei is also making a push into the mobility sector with the launch of the public beta version of its ride-hailing app “Petal Chuxing” on Tuesday. The aggregation platform currently provides Huawei smartphone users access to ride-hailing services such as T3 in 92 domestic cities.