Xiaomi hasn’t made any secrets about the fact that it’s planning to take on the world’s auto manufacturers by building EVs. It first announced its plans back in 2021, explaining that any vehicles it makes won’t be launched under the Xiaomi brand. But the new marque would be a subdivision of the company.
It’s easy to say that you’re going to build electric vehicles. It’s even simpler to repeat it. The tricky bit is actually pulling that off. There are things like investment, facilities, expertise, and other essentials to acquire first, followed by regulatory approval. The Chinese tech-maker has most of the first lot sewn up and it seems that it may well have acquired the last piece of the puzzle as well.
Xiaomi the keys
Reuters reports that China’s state planner, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), has approved the company’s plans to begin making EVs in its own backyard. Figuratively speaking, of course. The plan is full-scale production, not a skunkworks.
It’s not the final hurdle, though it does move Xiaomi along the road to making EVs by the end of 2024. The country’s Ministry of Industry and Information still needs to offer approval, once it’s assessed the proposed vehicles from safety and technical standpoints. As Reuters points out, there are also further challenges to overcome once all the government legwork is done.
Demand for EVs is slowing, thanks to practically everyone jumping into the pool at once. That might put the brakes on Xiaomi’s ambitions but the company’s plans to make 200,000 EVs a year could still go ahead if it’s willing to take a hit on pricing. And, of course, if government regulators decide it’s a good idea. Tesla is the company’s major competition in the region and it’s looking to expand operations, a proposal that has yet to clear the NDRC hurdle. If Elon Musk’s company lands that approval, there could be very interesting times ahead for EVs globally.