(Yicai Global) Jan. 14 -- Zhiji Automobile, the high-end electric vehicle joint venture between leading Chinese automaker SAIC Motor and e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding, introduced its first two prototypes yesterday that are capable of a maximum range of 1,000 kilometers and feature pioneering wireless charging technology.
The autos should come on the market by the end of the year, online news outlet The Paper reported. Orders will start to be collected during the Shanghai Auto Show in April. No prices were given but earlier estimates by investment banking firm China International Capital put the cost at no less than CNY300,000 (USD46,380).
Both models use a new battery developed by Shanghai-based SAIC and EV battery giant CATL that has an energy density of 300 watt-hours per kilogram. The car can automatically cut off the battery pack should it detect a malfunction, preventing any possibility of spontaneous combustion.
They are the first mass produced cars in the world to offer an 11-kilowatt wireless charging function. This can charge 10.5 kilowatt-hours of electricity in one hour, equivalent to up to 80 kilometers of battery life under the New European Driving Cycle operating conditions.
They come equipped with US tech firm Nvidia’s autonomous driving platform Xavier as well as 15 high-definition cameras, 12 ultrasonic radars and five millimeter-wave radars that enable the self-driving function.
There is a third new energy vehicle in development that should be launched next year, the report added.
Shanghai-based Zhiji Auto was set up just last month with a registered capital of CNY10 billion (USD1.5 billion). Shanghai Yuanjie Intelligent Technology Equity Investment Fund Partnership, under SAIC, holds 72 percent equity and Alibaba has an 18 percent stake.