The top-trim version of the SU7 has a vehicle price of RMB 361,400 at the time of insurance purchase, and the starting prices for the full lineup will likely be in the range of RMB 250,000 to RMB 370,000, according to local media.

(Image credit: Xiaomi EV)

Those expecting Xiaomi's first electric vehicle (EV) model, the SU7, to be cheap may be disappointed.

The top-trim version of the Xiaomi SU7 has a vehicle price of RMB 361,400 ($50,350) for insurance purchase, local media outlet Jiemian said in a report today, citing an unnamed source from a major insurance company.

The model is powered by 's lithium ternary battery and has a top speed of 265 km/h, the source said.

That means the Xiaomi SU7 will likely start at between RMB 250,000 and RMB 370,000, Jiemian's report said, citing market speculation.

Wang Hua, general manager of Xiaomi's public relations department, later mentioned on Weibo that some internal vehicles are starting to be licensed, but didn't directly deny the circulating speculation.

This is to test all the processes of sales, delivery, and service, and buying insurance is part of the process, Wang said.

Xiaomi gave the SU7 its debut at a December 28 tech event, but didn't reveal any pricing information.

For reference, 's (NASDAQ: TSLA) Model 3 sedan is currently offered in two versions in China, with starting prices of RMB 245,900 and RMB 285,900, respectively. The Xiaomi SU7 is larger than the Model 3.

Xiaomi was founded in April 2010 and in August 2011 it released its first smartphone.

The phone came with flagship components available at the time, but was priced at RMB 1,999, which was about half the price of mainstream flagship phones.

Since then, Xiaomi has launched a number of powerful but low-priced smartphones that have helped it become one of the world's largest smartphone makers.

Before the SU7 made its debut, some joked that the model should be priced at either RMB 99,000 or RMB 199,000 in order for Xiaomi to enjoy similar success in the EV market as it did in the smartphone market initially.

After the model was announced, several fake posters about the SU7's pricing -- some claiming that the model would be pre-sold at RMB 599,000, others claiming RMB 369,000 -- went viral in WeChat groups and on Weibo, sparking widespread discussion.

Xiaomi later responded, saying that the SU7's selling price could not be announced before its official release, and that nothing has been finalized yet.

On December 26, Xiaomi's founder, chairman, and CEO Lei Jun said in Weibo that the SU7 was in trial production, and that there were still a few months to go before its official launch.

In an interview with CCTV on January 22, Lei said that the Xiaomi SU7 will not be priced at RMB 99,000 or RMB 199,000, and that the pricing may indeed be a bit expensive.

Xiaomi officially announced on March 30, 2021 that it was joining the car-making bandwagon, stating that its initial investment in the automotive business was RMB 10 billion, with a projected investment of $10 billion over the next 10 years.

Xiaomi hopes to become one of the world's top five car makers through 15-20 years of hard work and aims to be one of the first players in the smart driving space by 2024, Lei said on December 28.

Some Wall Street analysts are bullish on Xiaomi's potential in the EV space, with analysts at Morgan Stanley saying in a January 14 research note that the Xiaomi EV is likely to be a disruptor.

($1 = RMB 7.1777)

Xiaomi EV likely to be a disruptor, says Morgan Stanley