(Yicai Global) Oct. 12 -- Chinese electric carmaker Chehejia has launched a new intelligent vehicle brand, Leading Ideal, and plans to unveil the marque's first vehicle next week, with a range that dwarfs that of the most-comparable Tesla model.
The LI One will be an all-electric luxury sports-utility vehicle with the option of having six or seven seats, Chehejia founder Li Xiang announced on social media platform Weibo on Oct. 10. A short video showing the vehicle's chassis is available on the company's website, which invites viewers to watch a live broadcast of the car's unveiling at 8 p.m. on Oct. 18, Beijing time.
The more than five-meter long car will boast a 700 kilometer range by New European Driving Cycle standards, and can top 1,000 kilometers in urban conditions. Tesla's Model X 100D, its longest-ranged SUV, can travel about 565 kilometers on one charge by the same standards.
Research for the LI One began as early as 2015 and has had more than 1,000 engineers working its case. So far, there have been two trial production rounds and all comprehensive vehicle tests began at the start of this year. Official delivery is scheduled for the first quarter of 2019, by which point the vehicle will have undergone three million kilometers of road testing and 291 modifications, Li's statement said.
Chehejia's first model was a low-speed, cost-effective electric car aimed at making short trips. It released the vehicle in 2015 but has since abandoned the model to focus on the LI One, which is much more geared towards China's world-leading auto market, where SUVs made up 35 percent of the 14 million vehicles sold in the first half, according to data from industry portal Marklines.
Editor: James Boynton