Jishi has launched its first model, the Jishi 01 EREV, which shares a large number of suppliers with and has a significant price overlap with the Li L8.

(Jishi video screenshot)

A very low-key Chinese electric vehicle (EV) startup has launched its first model that will compete with Li Auto's (NASDAQ: LI) Li L8.

Chinese startup Rox Motor Tech's EV brand, Jishi ("极石" in Chinese, literally meaning "pole stone"), officially launched its first model yesterday, the Jishi 01, with deliveries set to begin in November.

The brand's website doesn't provide details about it, nor does it have an English name. We'll refer to the company by its pinyin name for now, though the domain name of its website hints that the English name could be Pole Stones.

The Jishi 01 is a mid-to-large-sized SUV with off-road styling, and is an extended-range electric vehicle (EREV) like Li Auto's current models.

It measures 5,050 mm in length, 1,980 mm in width and 1,869 mm in height and has a wheelbase of 3,010 mm.

The Jishi 01 is available in two variants, the 7-seater and 6-seater, with starting prices of RMB 349,900 ($47,970) and RMB 359,900 respectively.


For comparison, Li Auto's Li L8 is currently only available in a six-seat version with a length, width and height of 5,080 mm, 1,995 mm and 1,800 mm respectively, and a wheelbase of 3,005 mm.

The Li L8 is currently available in three versions with starting prices of RMB 339,800, RMB 359,800 and RMB 399,800 respectively.

The Jishi 01 is powered by a 1.5 T engine that can produce up to 115 kW. The engine is supplied by Xinchen China Power, which is also a supplier to Li Auto. In august 2021, Li Auto and Xinchen set up a joint venture to produce engines.

The Jishi 01 has dual electric motors with a combined maximum power of 350 kW and maximum torque of 740 Nm and can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.5 seconds.

The car uses a battery pack supplied by with a capacity of 56 kWh and has a range of 235 km in WLTC and 282 km in CLTC on battery power. CATL is also the supplier of Li Auto.

The Jishi 01 has a combined WLTC range of 1,115 km and a combined CLTC range of up to 1,338 km on a full tank of fuel and a full charge.

The Jishi 01's assisted driving system includes a standard version with six cameras, five millimeter-wave radars, and 12 ultrasonic sensors, and an advanced version with dual Orin-X chips, one roof LiDAR, two side LiDARs, 12 cameras, five millimeter-wave radars, and 12 ultrasonic sensors.

Its standard version of the assisted driving system has L2 assisted driving, and the advanced version will get more powerful capabilities in the future, including Navigation Assisted Driving.

Customers are required to pay an additional RMB 30,000 for the optional advanced assisted driving system.

The Jishi 01's roof-mounted LiDAR is the same as that fitted to Li Auto models, Hesai's (NASDAQ: HSAI) AT 128.

The Jishi 01 has pure solid-state LiDAR FT120s mounted on both sides of the body, making it the world's first production model to be equipped with pure solid-state LiDARs, Hesai said today.

Jishi is an unknown brand, but its founder Chang Jing is one of China's most successful entrepreneurs.

Chang is the founder and CEO of ecosystem company and robot vacuum maker Roborock, and incorporated Rox Motor in January 2021.

In February 2020, Roborock was listed on China's Nasdaq-style sci-tech innovation board, also known as the STAR market, and its share price had risen to an all-time high of RMB 1,494.99 by the end of June 2021.

It's worth noting that Rox Motor is not directly related to Roborock beyond its shared founders, and has supported its car-making efforts through independent financing. In late 2021, Rox Motor received a $100 million financing led by Tencent.

Like many other Chinese EV startups, Jishi is not licensed to produce cars, and its vehicles are manufactured by Beijing Automobile Works Co Ltd.

($1 = RMB 7.2943)

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