Another luxury EV brand has entered the market!
If you seek a premium electric vehicle, Chinese automobile conglomerate Geely has launched a new line known as ZEEKR. The brand will exist as one of Geely’s many.
Unlike most EV startups that struggle to get to the manufacturing stage, ZEEKR has had a rather blistering path to the market.
After adding ZEEKR earlier this year, Geely did some administrative maneuvers that netted it $3 billion in funds to develop an EV, with Intel Capital, battery maker CATL, and online entertainment company Bilibili coming in as investors. At the end of the day, Geely owns ZEEKR through some of its subsidiaries.
However, Geely has now released its flagship ZEEKR model, the 001. Deliveries will start in a matter of days.
The official announcement of the first batch of production of the ZEEKR 001 came during a ceremony. The new car will be made in a modern, efficient plant in Ningbo, China, that features 5G connectivity and lots of welding robots.
The new electric vehicle sits on the Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) platform, which will power electric models across the brands Geely owns.
The ZEEKR 001 has all the hallmarks of a premium electric vehicle. Its dual-motor system produces 400 kW of power and a maximum torque of 768 Nm. This allows the car to zoom from 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, bringing it close to Tesla’s performance. The top speed is 126 mph. The vehicle requires about 35 meters to come to a halt from 60 mph.
Geely has equipped the 001 with a 100 kWh battery that takes about 30 minutes to charge from 10 to 80%. The range is between 327 and 442 miles, according to NEDC. But you can choose an 86 kWh battery option. ZEEKR owners will be able to charge at one of the ultra-fast 360 kW charging stations Geely will set up across ten Chinese cities before the year runs out. They will be able to charge at other third-party stations as well all over China.
Since unveiling the ZEEKR 001, Geely has accepted feedback and upgraded some parts of the car, although the carmaker didn’t specify what it changed.
The 001 starts at $44,000.
Even before making the first deliveries to customers, Geely has revealed it is working on an update that it would deliver over the air to enhance the ZEEKR Assisted Drive (ZAD) system, showing Geely’s commitment to supporting this product.
As part of its commitments, Geely will open 10 ZEEKR Spaces in China, in addition to the two already existing. These are apart from the two experience centers that would be branded ZEEKR in Hangzhou and Shanghai later this year.
Geely invites comparison with Tesla, with the chief engineer of the SEA platform, Kent Bovelian, saying Tesla only has a lead in software and performance, but Geely’s architecture is superior in other ways.
We can expect more ZEEKR branded EVs as the manufacturer aims to release six new models in the next three years as it tries to go up against Tesla, which also makes cars in China. By 2025, Geely plans to sell 650,000 units per year. For now, sales are limited to China, but Geely intends to take the ZEEKR to Europe and other parts of the world. However, there is no mention of a plan to sell the car in the US.
Geely might not be prominent, but it owns iconic brands. They include Swedish Volvo, known for inventing the three-point seat belt, English Lotus famous for performance cars and contributing to Tesla’s first car, Polestar associated with Volvo, etc. Other brands under Geely’s umbrella are Lynk & Co and Geometry.
Geely is different from many other Chinese automakers because it is independently owned and operates under the Geely Holding Group name.
ZEEKR describes its brand as seeking to make EVs more exciting with its tagline “no more boring EVs.”