Li Auto electric SUV launch postponed as company shifts its strategy

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Li Auto postponed the market launch of its first all-electric SUV till the first half of 2025. This information was shared by the company CEO and founder, Li Xiang. The delay marks a major strategy shift as Li Mega electric MPV didn’t meet expectations. 

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Li Auto dives into the harsh EV world

Our regular readers know that Li Auto is a startup founded in 2015. It is a well-known EREV (Extended Range Electric Vehicle) crossovers manufacturer. However, Li announced the transition into the BEV segment in 2023. At that time, Li planned to launch five fully electric models until 2025. The company representatives said this shift was caused by the rapid development of DC charging tech, which now allows charging 500 km range in 12 minutes. 

Li Auto Mega

In March 2024, Li Auto launched its first all-electric model, which appeared to be the Mega minivan. It is a large MPV with dimensions of 5350/1965/1850 mm and a wheelbase of 3300 mm. Its powertrain comprises two e-motors with a combined power of 400 kW (536 hp). The 102.7-kWh ternary NMC battery from CATL supplies power to them. The Mega’s range reaches 710 km. 

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Initially, the Li Auto Mega was launched with a single trim level for 559,800 yuan (77,350 USD). However, the launch wasn’t successful as Mega’s demand was slower than expected. Previously, Li reported it could sell approximately 8,000 units of this minivan monthly. However, the Mega sold 3,229 units in the first month after the launch and only 1,145 cars in April. As a result, Li Auto revised the estimated sales volume and sliced the price of the Li Mega by 30,000 yuan (4,150 USD).

Li Auto underestimated the harsh EV market. This miscalculation led to a huge strategy shift for the company. 

Li Auto postpones launch of electric SUV

On May 20, Li Auto CEO and founder Li Xiang said during a press conference that the launch of the brand’s first electric crossover is scheduled for the first half of 2025. Previously, this model aimed to start sales this year. Li Xiang explained that this delay is caused by the necessity of installing enough fast charging stations to satisfy the needs of buyers of mid-to-high-end electric SUVs. 

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Li Auto 5C charging station

Secondly, the estimated sales volume of this electric SUV reached 10,000 units per month. According to Li Xiang, the company needs to install at least 500-600 showcase booths nationwide to increase the sales. Without these two requires executed Li Auto will only increase the number of models without raising the sales volume, Li Xiang said. 

Li Auto L6 commercial in China

Meanwhile, Li Auto will focus more on its EREV model line. Li Xiang said the recently launched Li L6 has become a huge success. Moreover, the new pricing strategy has also boosted customer demand for L7, L8, and L9. Li Xiang underlined that the company management is currently satisfied with its sales performance and has no plans to reduce prices in the future. 

Briefly on Li Auto electric SUV

The upcoming Li Auto electric crossover is known by its codename S01. It was spotted in China several times during road tests. Its exterior styling stays in line with the previously launched Li Mega minivan. It has the same sleek body shape and LED strips in the front and rear. Like the Mega, the S01 adopts the 800V architecture that supports 5C charging (5C means the charging power is five times the capacity). This SUV will enter the market in H1 2025. More on this model as we get it. 

Source: Autohome, Weibo

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