Li hits May holiday headlines not just for driverless incident

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Li Auto has managed to find itself in a lot of headlines over the May holiday period which this year ran from May 1 to May 5. Highlights include the driverless highway driving incident, sales of the L6 and the results of Li usage over the holiday period.

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Perhaps the usage Li Auto would most like to forget is the video which appeared on the Internet of a Li car powering down the highway at speeds of up to 120 km/h with no one in the driver’s seat and child sans seatbelt in the passenger seat. What’s not so clear is how this is possible. While a published picture shows a drinks bottle wedged in the steering wheel to fool the sensors into thinking a driver had a hand on the wheel, the video clearly shows that there is no bottle. The incident has come in for lot of criticism from Chinese netizens. Also Li Auto has publicly rebuked the behavior saying that at this stage the system is driving assistance rather than automatic driving and the actions are very dangerous.

During the holiday Li Auto cars covered 35.7 million kilometers using the high-end intelligent driving assistance system of which the NOA (navigation on autopilot) portion was 24.6 million. 309,000 people, including presumably the phantom driver in the video, used the system on models equipped with Lidar during the holiday. Milage was up 126.8% over normal times and the longest single day distance was over 1,800 km.

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Bottle jammed in the wheel of the driverless Li Auto car.

Overall mileage for the holiday was 295 million kilometers. Of that 153 million kilometers was undertaken using battery power an increase of 11.6% over normal levels. Fuel driven milage however was way up at 149.5% over normal levels and accounted for the remainder of the 141 million kilometers. This seems to indicate that users gave up with attempting to charge while on longer journeys. Li Auto’s 391 supercharging stations were used over 96,000 times (including usage by other brands) and the average charging time for the Li Mega was 12.8 minutes.

Not only were Li cars busy during the holiday but so were the company’s showrooms as well. On May 5 over 10,000 Li L6 models sold bring the cumulative total from April 18 to May 5 to over 41,000 of the model.

Li Auto is targeting sales of 800,000 cars this year and aims to challenge 100,000 deliveries a month. Such a figure would be quite an achievement given that Li Auto sales were 376,030 last year. The L6 is crucial to Li Auto if it is to stand any chance of hitting this target and the car will need to sell by the end of the year at least 20,000 a month.

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Ranging in price between 249,800 and 279,800 yuan (34,600-38,750 USD) it is the most affordable Li Auto model to date. Coming in at 4925, 1960, 1735 mm (l/w/h) and with a wheelbase of 2920 mm it is also the baby of the family. With a 36.8 kWh LFP battery pack the electric only range is 212 km (CLTC).

Sources: Fast Technology, Autohome

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