Li Auto has recently launched an all-electric vehicle program, with the first product scheduled for release in 2023, Chinese media outlet LatePost reported Wednesday.
Li Auto's new model will still use extended-range technology until the all-electric vehicle is launched, the report said, adding that the company will launch a new version of the Li ONE within the year.
Li Auto's IPO prospectus indicates that it will launch a second production vehicle in 2022, which will be a full-size SUV with extended-range technology.
CnEVPost previously mentioned that the car is internally codenamed X01, and LatePost's latest report said it will be based on the second-generation "X platform" with extended-range technology, which is positioned higher than the Li ONE, and will target the BMW X7 and Mercedes-Benz GLS.
Li Auto's second model, possibly codenamed X01, expected to be delivered next year
Meanwhile, Li Auto is also working on a midsize SUV on the same platform as the X01, the report said.
LatePost said that Li Auto had done early pre-research on pure electric vehicles, planning a pure electric sedan to compete with the Tesla Model 3, and the X01 had also considered doing both extended-range technology and pure electric versions.
But due to unreasonable cost calculations, there has been no formal project for them, the report said.
Recently, Li Auto founder Li Xiang sent an internal letter, proposing that Li Auto will maintain extended-range technology and pure electric technology in parallel for the next 10 years.
The letter also plans a second-generation extended-range "X" platform, as well as a pure electric "Whale" platform and a "Shark" platform. Li says its sales target for 2025 is to capture 20 percent of the 8 million new energy vehicle market, or 1.6 million units per year.
Li Auto aims to be No. 1 smart EV firm in China with 20% share by 2025
To achieve this goal, Li Auto has lowered its product positioning from RMB 200,000 ~ 500,000 rang to the RMB 150,000~500,000 range, and has stepped up preparations for product development, sales network and production.
The report also said that Li Auto plans to expand the number of stores to 200 by 2021. As of January this year, Li Auto has built a total of 60 stores and 121 repair centers and authorized sheet metal spray centers in 89 cities.
Li Auto's Changzhou plant is being expanded, with a new 100,000-unit annual capacity expected to be added in preparation for mass production of subsequent models, the report said.
Policies in China's top tier cities are not friendly to extended electric vehicles, which may be one of the key reasons why Li Auto is accelerating the launch of pure electric vehicles.
In Beijing, consumers must qualify for a gasoline license to buy a hybrid, which is now highly unlikely.
In Shanghai, consumers can currently get a special license plate for free when they buy a hybrid, but a recent new policy will allow that to change.
Shanghai will no longer issue free license plates for plug-in hybrid vehicles starting in 2023
From January 1, 2023, Shanghai will no longer issue free special license plates to individual users as well as corporate users who purchase plug-in hybrid (including extended-range) vehicles.
This means that starting in 2023, Shanghai consumers who want to purchase the Li ONE, the only model under Li Auto with the extended-range technology, will first need to obtain a license plate for a gasoline vehicle.
Li Auto will release its fourth quarter and full-year 2020 financial results on February 25, 2021, before the US stock market opens.
Following the earnings release, Li Auto's management team will host a conference call on February 25 at 7:30 a.m. ET (8:30 p.m. Beijing Time on February 25).
The company delivered 14,464 vehicles in the fourth quarter, above guidance of 11,000-12,000 units.