Apple isn’t the only major phone maker rumored to be designing electric cars.
According to a new Reuters report, Chinese technology firm Xiaomi reportedly plans to make and sell its own electric car.
Details of the EVs themselves weren’t forthcoming, but Xiaomi would reportedly integrate them with other products and manufacture them at a plant from Chinese auto giant Great Wall, with the first model arriving in 2023.
With an EV project, Xiaomi could diversify its lineup and make it more resilient. While it’s currently one of the largest phone brands in China, Xiaomi operates on tiny profit margins and can easily succumb to short-term problems like recent chip shortages. EVs would give the company a more reliable source of income year-round.
Xiaomi, of course, isn’t the only smartphone maker with this idea. In addition to Apple, Huawei is also believed to be exploring cars. Chinese search company Baidu has already unveiled plans to make an EV with Geely’s help. Tech firms delving into the automotive world may seem like novelties now, but they could be relatively commonplace in a few years.
Xiaomi’s founder and chief executive, Lei Jun, believes the firm’s expertise in hardware manufacturing will help accelerate the design and production of its EVs, one of the report’s sources said.
“Xiaomi wants to find a mature automobile manufacturer to provide model infrastructure, enabling its own advantages in mobile internet technology,” said Alan Kang, senior analyst at LMC Automotive.
“Xiaomi’s advantages in operating systems and home furnishing also bring a lot of imagination for such cooperation in the future.”