A Tesla charging station in a hotel car park.
Zhang Peng | LightRocket | Getty Images
BEIJING – When it comes to China’s electric car market, the high-end SUV segment is a start-up that foreign brands are heavily competing for.
In fact, high-end electric SUVs sold so well last year that Nio and Li Auto models reached the top 10 in the category, regardless of fuel type, according to the China Passenger Car Association. Both companies started in SUVs.
Tesla kicked off the New Year with too much fanfare in China, announcing it would soon begin shipping its locally-made Model Y midsize SUV.
Here are some of the cars that have caught the attention of Chinese buyers:
Tesla Model Y.
People look at a Tesla Model Y car in a Tesla showroom in Beijing on Jan. 5, 2021.
Wang Zhao | AFP | Getty Images
price: 339,900 yuan ($ 52,500)
offer: 594 km (369 miles)
Tesla’s Model 3 was the top-selling consumer electric car in China last year, according to the country’s passenger car association. Elon Musk automaker announced on Jan. 1 that the China-made Model Y would be available for delivery. Less than two weeks later, the company website announced that new orders would not be delivered until the second quarter of this year.
The announced price of 339,900 yuan is about 30% cheaper than previously announced, according to Chinese media.
A Nio ES6 vehicle is on display during the 18th Guangzhou International Auto Show in Guangzhou, China on Nov 20, 2020.
Visual China Group | Getty Images
price: 358,000 yuan to 468,000 yuan ($ 55,300 to $ 72,300)
offer: 420 km to 610 km (260 miles to 379 miles)
Nio announced it had shipped 2,493 ES6 units of the five-seater SUVs in December. That’s despite the introduction of another five-seater called the EC6 during this time.
Customers who order the ES6 today will have to wait around eight weeks to receive their car, according to Nios website.
A Li Xiang One hybrid SUV is on display during the 18th Guangzhou International Auto Show in Guangzhou, China on Nov 23, 2020.
Li Zhihao | Visual China Group | Getty Images
price: 328,000 yuan ($ 50,700)
offer: 180 km (up to 800 km with a fuel-powered charging system) (111 miles or up to 497 miles)
The Li One SUV has a 45 liter fuel tank that can be used to recharge the vehicle battery, extending the range of the vehicle before reaching a charging station. Vehicles are available in six and seven-seater versions.
The car is the first and so far only Li Auto model to be listed on the Nasdaq. The company said it has shipped more than 30,000 units since Li One launched on December 4, 2019.
WM Motor’s EX5 electric vehicle will be exhibited at the Consumer Electronics Show Asia in Shanghai in June 2019.
Arjun Kharpal | CNBC
price: 149,800 yuan to 198,800 yuan (after subsidies for the EX5-Z model) ($ 23,100 to $ 30,700)
offer: 400 km to 520 km (248 miles 323 miles)
Shanghai-based WM Motor began shipping the original version of the EX5 in September 2018 and claims to have handed over at least 40,000 units to customers since then.
The privately owned company, also known as the World Champion, was founded in 2015 by former Volvo and Geely CEO Freeman Shen. WM Motor announced in September a financing round of 10 billion yuan from investors such as the state-owned automaker SAIC Motor in Shanghai.
Audi Q2 L e-tron
Alexander Seitz, Audi Board Member for Finance, China and Legal, talks about the Q2 L e-tron, which started production in China in 2020.
price: 226,800 yuan to 237,300 yuan (after subsidies) ($ 35,000 to $ 36,700)
offer: 265 km
Audi unveiled the Q2 L e-tron in 2019 at the Shanghai Auto Show and said it would only be sold in China. Volkswagen’s own German car manufacturer produces the vehicle with the Chinese state car group FAW. The two companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding in October to produce more electric cars based on a platform developed by Porsche with Porsche.
Audi plans to launch six more electric vehicles in China by the end of 2021.
The company said it had shipped a record 727,358 cars to China in 2020, up 5.4% year over year and despite the 8.3% decline in global sales. “The rapid economic recovery and the high demand for individual mobility led to new record numbers,” said Audi in a press release on Tuesday.