said the SU7 secured more than 50,000 firm orders within the first 27 minutes after it started accepting orders.

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi (HKG: 1810, OTCMKTS: XIACY) has formally jumped into a more crowded industry than expected with the launch of its first electric vehicle (EV) model.

The company rolled out its SU7 electric sedan at a launch event today in Beijing, where it is headquartered, at a price that undercuts 's (NASDAQ: TSLA) Model 3, while also offering better features.

Xiaomi is offering three variants of the SU7 -- Standard, Pro, and Max -- with starting prices of RMB 215,900 ($29,870), RMB 245,900, and RMB 299,900, respectively.

The starting price of the Xiaomi SU7 Pro is the same as the starting price of the Model 3 entry-level version in China, while the standard version is RMB 30,000 lower.

Consumers can reserve the model starting at 10 pm Beijing time today by paying a deposit of RMB 5,000, which are refundable within seven days.

Deliveries of the Xiaomi SU7 will start at the end of April for the Standard and Max versions of the customized vehicles, and at the end of May for the Pro version.

Xiaomi is offering a Founders Edition for the SU7, limited to 5,000 units at the same price as the Standard and Max editions, with deliveries set to begin on April 3.

The Founders Edition vehicles are the first ones that have been produced, and consumers can pay a RMB 20,000 deposit to reserve the model, which is non-refundable.

Customers who order the model before May 1 can get up to RMB 22,000 worth of entitlements.

"Many people ask me who the Xiaomi SU7 is built for. My answer is, isn't it time for Tesla Model 3 users to upgrade?" Lei Jun, founder, chairman and CEO of Xiaomi, said at today's launch event.

About 10 minutes after the SU7 started accepting orders, Xiaomi said at 10:10 pm that the model received more than 10,000 firm orders within four minutes and 20,000 firm orders within seven minutes.

At 10:29 pm, Xiaomi updated the number of firm orders, saying that the model received 50,000 firm orders in the initial 27 minutes.

The Xiaomi SU7 is a mid-to-large-sized sedan with length, width and height of 4,997 mm, 1,963 mm, 1,440/1,455 mm and a wheelbase of 3,000 mm.

As a comparison, the Tesla Model 3 available in China has a length, width and height of 4,720 mm, 1,848 mm, 1,442 mm and a wheelbase of 2,875 mm.

The Xiaomi SU7 Standard and Pro versions are built on the regular 400 V platform, while the Max version is built on an 800 V platform.

The higher voltage platform results in faster charging, with both the Standard and Pro versions getting 350 kilometers of range on a 15-minute charge, while the Max version gets 510 kilometers of range on a 15-minute charge.

The Standard version of the Xiaomi SU7 is powered by 's blade battery based on lithium iron phosphate (LFP) chemistry with a capacity of 73.6 kWh and a CLTC range of 700 kilometers.

The Pro version is powered by Shenxing Battery from based on LFP chemistry with a capacity of 94.3 kWh and a CLTC range of 830 kilometers.

The Xiaomi SU7 Max is powered by CATL Qilin Battery with a capacity of 101 kWh and a CLTC range of 800 kilometers.

The Xiaomi SU7 Standard and Pro variants are both single-motor rear-wheel-drive models with 0-100 km/h times of 5.28 seconds and 5.7 seconds, respectively. The Max version is powered by dual motors and can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.78 seconds.

For comparison, the Tesla Model 3 is based on the regular 400 V platform, with a 0-100 km/h time of 6.1 seconds for the entry version and a CLTC range of 606 kilometers. The dual-motor long-range version of the Model 3 has a 0-100 km/h time of 4.4 seconds and a CLTC range of 713 kilometers.

Xiaomi's smart driving system is divided into Xiaomi Pilot Pro, Xiaomi Pilot Max, with the former based on a pure vision solution and the latter with an extra LiDAR.

Xiaomi Pilot Pro uses a single Nvidia Drive Orin chip with 84 Tops of computing power, while Xiaomi Pilot Max carries two Drive Orin chips with a combined computing power of 508 Tops.

The Xiaomi SU7 Standard edition comes with the Xiaomi Pilot Pro, while the other two more expensive ones both come with the Xiaomi Pilot Max system.

Xiaomi Pilot Max's city pilot assisted driving feature NOA will begin user testing in April. It will be available in 10 cities in May, and will be available nationwide in August, Lei said at today's launch.

Customers who purchase an SU7 on or before December 31, 2024 will receive free lifetime access to the Xiaomi Pilot Pro or Xiaomi Pilot Max.

The launch of Xiaomi's first EV model comes at a tricky point in time, just as the Chinese market is becoming increasingly crowded with great models and the price war is getting more intense.

Xiaomi officially announced its entry into car building on March 30, 2021, at a time when there weren't many great EV models for Chinese consumers to choose from.

In the electric sedan segment, the only mid-to-high-end model available in China in 2021 was essentially the Tesla Model 3.

There are now countless excellent models in the segment, such as the Deepal SL03, which started deliveries in August 2022, the (NYSE: NIO) ET5, which started deliveries at the end of September 2022, and the 007, which started deliveries on January 1 of this year.

Other models include the BYD Han EV, (NYSE: XPEV) P7i, Avatr 12, and Rising Auto F7, not to mention more upcoming new models like the Jiyue 07, which is expected to be announced at next month's Beijing auto show.

However, the SU7's starting price is lower than the RMB 250,000 to 300,000 range that many had previously expected, which seems to indicate that Xiaomi is well prepared for the stiff competition and will put pressure on competing models.

For the Xiaomi SU7 Max, which starts at RMB 299,900, the company had initially planned a price of RMB 350,000 for the variant, Lei said at today's launch.

Xiaomi is well prepared for the current competitive environment in the EV industry, the company said earlier this month.

The pricing of the SU7, which is significantly lower than that of the Tesla Model 3, seems to show Xiaomi's commitment to the EV space.

In making the SU7's debut last December 28, Xiaomi said it hopes to become one of the world's top 5 carmakers in 15-20 years and aims to be one of the top-tier players in the smart driving space in 2024.

($1 = RMB 7.2289)

Xiaomi SU7 specs

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