The HiPhi Y, which starts at just RMB 1,000 more than the ES6 but far less than HiPhi's other two models, is trying to get a piece of the mainstream premium EV market.

(File photo shows a HiPhi Y on display at the April 2023 Shanghai auto show. Image credit: CnEVPost)

Chinese premium electric vehicle (EV) maker Human Horizons' HiPhi brand has launched its lowest-priced model to date, the HiPhi Y, in an attempt to enter the mainstream premium EV market.

HiPhi rolled out the HiPhi Y SUV, its third model after the ultra-luxury HiPhi X and HiPhi Z, at a launch event today.

The HiPhi Y is currently available in four variants with a starting price of RMB 339,000 ($47,470), RMB 369,000, RMB 399,000 and RMB 449,000 respectively.

The starting price of its entry-level version is just RMB 1,000 higher than that of Nio's (NYSE: NIO) new ES6, which was launched on May 24 and now starts at RMB 338,000 in China.

HiPhi Y's pricing was clearly influenced by the Nio ES6.

The new ES6 was launched on May 24 at a starting price of RMB 368,000, including a free battery swap entitlement for customers four times a month.

On the night of the new ES6's launch, HiPhi's brand and communications manager, Xu Bin, congratulated Nio for the launch of the model on Weibo and said that the HiPhi Y 560 km range version was expected to be set at RMB 369,000 yuan.

However, on June 12, Nio stripped the battery swap entitlement from the vehicle's prices, thus allowing the starting prices of all new models to be cut by RMB 30,000, making the starting price of the new ES6 RMB 338,000 yuan.

The HiPhi Y is a five-seat mid-size SUV with a length, width and height of 4,938 mm, 1,958 mm and 1,658 mm respectively, and a wheelbase of 2,950 mm.

Its two least expensive versions are powered by a single motor with a maximum power of 247 kW, which can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.9 seconds. Both versions have a battery pack capacity of 76.6 kWh and a CLTC range of 560 kilometers.

The version with a starting price of RMB 399,000 is also equipped with a single electric motor with a maximum power of 247 kW that can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.8 seconds. It comes with a 115-kWh battery pack and has a CLTC range of 810 km.

The highest priced version of the HiPhi Y comes with dual motors and has an additional front motor of 124 kW maximum power over the single motor version, and can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds. It comes with a 115-kWh battery pack and has a CLTC range of 765 km.

The versions priced at RMB 369,000 and RMB 449,000 come with LiDAR as standard, while for the other two versions, the part is an option that the customer has to pay for.

For comparison, the Nio ES6 measures 4,854 mm in length, 1,995 mm in width and 1,703 mm in height, with a wheelbase of 2,915 mm.

The ES6 comes standard with dual motors, can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds, and comes standard with LiDAR.

There is only one version of the Nio ES6, although customers can choose between a 75-kWh battery pack or a 100-kWh pack with CLTC ranges of 490 km and 625 km, respectively.

All of Nio's models support quick access to a fully charged battery via battery swap, and owners of the standard 75-kWh range version have the flexibility to lease or upgrade to get the 100-kWh pack.

As important as the ES6 was for Nio, the HiPhi Y will be crucial for HiPhi as the lower prices are expected to allow the company to reach a wider customer base.

HiPhi launched its first model, HiPhi X, in October 2020 and deliveries of the model began in May 2021.

The HiPhi X starts at RMB 570,000 for the six-seater version and up to RMB 800,000 for the four-seater version.

In August 2022, HiPhi officially launched its second model, the HiPhi Z. The model is available in five-seat and four-seat versions with a starting price of RMB 610,000 and RMB 630,000, respectively, with deliveries commencing in late January.

HiPhi had previously announced delivery figures in some months of 2021 and 2022, but they were all below 1,000 units.

It hasn't announced deliveries in the past year, but according to China Automotive Technology and Research Center, the HiPhi X delivered 4,349 units in 2022, bringing cumulative deliveries to 8,586.

($1 = RMB 7.1413)

HiPhi begins accepting pre-orders for HiPhi X and HiPhi Z in Europe, deliveries to begin in Q3