's first EV model is now in the trial production phase, which has been underway for almost a month, according to local media.

(Image credit: CnEVPost)

The automotive arm of Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi has begun trial production, after receiving a production green light from China's economic planner, according to a new report.

Xiaomi's electric vehicles (EVs) are now in trial production, which has been underway for almost a month, with around 50 prototypes being produced every week, local media outlet Jiemian said in a report today, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Trial production is one of the most important tasks before mass production, testing the operation of production line equipment, process integration, worker proficiency, and overall product consistency, the source said.

If problems occur in the test of the prototypes, automakers will debug the production lines. After the production lines are debugged and qualified, they can enter the stage of mass production, the person noted.

On August 23, Reuters reported that the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), which oversees new investment and capacity in China's automotive sector, has given Xiaomi approval to produce EVs.

Xiaomi's EV unit becomes the fourth company to receive NDRC approval since late 2017, the report noted. Over the past few years, China has become more stringent in regulating eligibility for vehicle production.

While the NDRC approval brings Xiaomi one step closer to mass production of EVs, it still needs to obtain approval from China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), which is responsible for evaluating the technical and safety requirements of new automakers and models, according to Reuters.

Xiaomi could get approval from the MIIT in about two months, or by the end of the year at the latest, the sources cited in Jiemian's report today said.

Xiaomi's automotive division no longer seems to have concerns about getting production approvals.

Xiaomi's automotive plant in Yizhuang, Beijing, is currently hiring shop floor workers on a large scale of around 100 people, according to Jiemian.

The average salary for these workers is in the range of RMB 6,000 ($820) to RMB 7,000, with an eight-hour workday, according to the report.

The current hiring is just an early stage of preparing Xiaomi's EV for mass production, and by the end of the year or early next year, the business will see larger hiring, the report said, citing a supplier source.

Xiaomi invested RMB 1.4 billion in its innovation business, including smart EVs, in the second quarter, according to the company's financial report released on August 29.

Xiaomi's first EV wrapped up summer testing and is progressing well, the company's president, Lu Weibing, said on an earnings call, adding that Xiaomi's goal of mass-producing its first EV model in the first half of 2024 remains unchanged.

($1 = RMB 7.3087)

Xiaomi gets nod from China's economic planner to produce EVs, report says