The Qualcomm 8155 chip is expected to address potential Zeekr 001 consumers' concerns about a poor smart cockpit experience.

Zeekr allows all users to upgrade to Qualcomm 8155 chip for free, launches new variant of Zeekr 001-CnEVPost

(Image credit: Zeekr)

Geely's premium electric vehicle (EV) subsidiary Zeekr is determined to enhance the smart cockpit experience of its first model, the Zeekr 001, after much protest over the poor experience brought about by the outdated chip it uses.

Unlike the current mainstream flagship EVs that use Qualcomm 8155 chips to power the smart cockpit, Zeekr uses a more outdated Qualcomm 820A chip in the Zeekr 001, resulting in a poor smart cockpit experience and facing continued complaints from users.

Zeekr announced Monday the release of a new generation of smart cockpit based on the Qualcomm 8155 chip, which is available for upgrade to all users, including those who have already received deliveries.

Unlike previous efforts by NIO (NYSE: NIO, HKG: 9866, SGX: NIO), the premium electric division of Dongfeng Motor's Voyah, Zeekr is offering the upgrade for free.

This next-generation smart cockpit computing platform uses an 8-core CPU based on a 7nm process, with 177 percent more CPU computing power and 94 percent more GPU computing power, Zeekr said.

The in-vehicle system will be more responsive, with a wake-up time of just 2 seconds. The company said that the in-vehicle screen has a 66.1 percent higher swipe frame rate and app open time averages just 1.3 seconds.

Zeekr 001 customers who have already taken delivery can book the upgrade starting August 1, and those who have not yet taken delivery will get a vehicle with the new smart cockpit when it is delivered.

Zeekr will replace the vehicle with a complete smart cockpit domain controller, which will enable the chip upgrade. The hardware replacement will take about 35 minutes and involve four screws, with the software upgrade taking about two hours, according to Zeekr.

Previously, Voyah began allowing users to upgrade to the Qualcomm 8155 chip on May 1 for RMB 12,999 ($1,970). The company offered a limited-time discounted price of RMB 4,999 for those who purchase before May 31.

NIO announced the Qualcomm 8155 chip-based Alder's intelligent system, including in-vehicle intelligent hardware, computing platform, operating system, algorithms and applications, when it launched the new SUV ES7 on June 15.

Every existing ES8, ES6 and EC6 user can pay to have their vehicles upgraded with Alder for RMB 9,600. With the additional option of a 5G high-performance central gateway, the price is RMB 12,600.

Back to Zeekr, the company also launched a new Zeekr 001 variant, the Zeekr 001 Me Edition, on Monday, bringing the number of available versions of the model to four.

The variant has the same core specifications as the long-range, dual-motor version priced at RMB 299,000 ($44,430), including the same motor highway and torque.

Its battery pack capacity has been increased from 86 kWh to 100 kWh, thus increasing the CLTC range from 536 km to 616 km, but below the 650 km of the highest-priced You Edition.

The Zeekr 001 Me Edition is priced at RMB 349,000, higher than the We Edition's RMB 299,000 and lower than the You Edition's RMB 386,000, and is already available for pre-order on July 11.

Zeekr allows all users to upgrade to Qualcomm 8155 chip for free, launches new variant of Zeekr 001-CnEVPost

Zeekr also announced Zeekr OS 3.0, the brand's largest system upgrade to date, which will be pushed out to all users starting July 19.

Zeekr OS 3.0 supports full-speed domain active cruise control and can intelligently identify and center multiple lane lines, according to the company.

Zeekr delivered 4,302 Zeekr 001 units in June, down slightly by 0.65 percent from 4,330 units in May, data it released earlier this month showed.

Since deliveries began last October, Zeekr has delivered a total of 25,017 Zeekr 001 vehicles, data monitored by CnEVPost shows.

Zeekr allows all users to upgrade to Qualcomm 8155 chip for free, launches new variant of Zeekr 001-CnEVPost

NIO ET5, which aims to take on BMW 3 Series and Tesla Model 3, has started to attract potential Zeekr buyers

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