Huawei’s competitor to Tesla electric cars is set to hit China’s streets on Saturday


Consumers check out Huawei’s first HarmonyOS car, the Aito M5, at a store in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, on Jan. 3, 2022.
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BEIJING — The first electric car with Huawei’s HarmonyOS operating system is set to begin deliveries at a ceremony on Saturday in Shanghai, according to an announcement on social media.

In December, Huawei’s consumer business group CEO Richard Yu spent an hour at a winter product launch event promoting the car, the Aito M5. But the Chinese telecommunications company has emphasized it will not make cars on its own, rather working with auto manufacturers on autonomous driving and other technology.

Seres is the automaker behind the Aito M5. The company is also known as SF Motors and is a Silicon Valley-based subsidiary of automaker Sokon, which is based in Chongqing, China, according to the parent company’s website.

The mid-sized SUV costs 249,800 yuan ($39,651), after subsidies, according to the Aito website. In December, Tesla raised the post-subsidy price for its Model Y in China by 21,088 yuan to 301,840 yuan.

The Aito M5 is similar to Chinese start-up Li Auto‘s Li One in that the vehicle comes with a fuel tank for extending driving range when the battery has run out of power.

Li Auto said it delivered 8,414 cars in February. That’s more than Xpeng‘s 6,225 deliveries for the month and Nio‘s 6,131.

All three companies are listed in the U.S. and have started to offer shares in Hong Kong as well. Nio is set to join its two peers in Hong Kong with a listing on Thursday.

Start-ups and tech companies have rushed into China’s fast-growing electric vehicle market. But Tesla and Chinese automaker BYD dominate sales by far.

In 2021, China’s share of Tesla’s total revenue rose to 26% from just 12% in 2019.

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