In addition to the planned launch of an extended-range full-size SUV in 2022, Li Auto is also ahead of schedule with the creation of an all-electric model.
Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker Li Auto (NASDAQ: LI) plans to launch an all-electric model that will use the company's latest platform, 36kr said, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.
According to the report, in addition to the planned launch of an extended-range full-size SUV in 2022, Li Auto is also ahead of schedule with the creation of an all-electric model.
"The BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) is scheduled to debut as early as 2022 and go on sale in 2023, with technologies such as Li Auto's ultra-fast charging and high-voltage platform," the report said, citing sources.
According to the report, Li Auto denied the timeline, "The BEV project is in pre-study and there is no firm launch date yet."
A source close to Li Auto's BEV project said that the launch of Li Auto's first pure electric vehicle is likely to be much later than the above projections, given the long cycle of vehicle development and testing.
This may also be an important reason for Li Auto's recent issuance of additional shares to raise funds.
On December 2, Li Auto announced that it would issue an additional 47 million American Depositary Shares (ADSs), raising approximately $1.62 billion in net proceeds, or up to $1.84 billion if the underwriters exercise their over-allotment option.
On Friday, Li Auto priced the share sale at $29 each, a 10.2 percent discount to Thursday's closing price of $32.31. This gave Li Auto access to $1.36 billion in capital.
In a previous announcement, Li Auto said it would use the large financing to fund about 30 percent of its research and development for next-generation electric vehicle technologies, including high-voltage platforms, high-charge/discharge-rate batteries, and ultra-fast charging, and about 20 percent for the development of its next BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) platform and future models.
Li Xiang, the Chinese EV maker's CEO said on its third-quarter earnings call last month that Li Auto won't launch all-electric models until the 400KW fast-charging technology matures, adding that its extended-range technology has a 5-10 year advantage in large SUVs and MPVs.
Li said that the 400KW fast-charging technology needs to be supported by three key technologies: a voltage platform of more than 800V, a national standard for 500Ah super-fast charging, and a battery with a charge multiplier of more than 4C.
Li Auto currently has only one model on sale – the Li ONE. It said in September it will use NVIDIA Orin chips in its full-size extended-range smart SUV to be launched in 2022 and is expected to be the first new energy vehicle company in China to develop a fully independent Level 4 self-driving system.
Li Auto signed a strategic partnership agreement with NVIDIA and NVIDIA's China partner Huizhou Desay SV Auto in Beijing on September 22.
The NVIDIA Orin system-on-chip was released in 2019 and is scheduled to go into production in 2022.
Using a 7nm manufacturing process, Orin delivers 200TOPS of computing performance per second, a seven-fold increase in performance over the previous generation of Xavier SoCs.
Li Auto will offer customers the option to upgrade to a single-chip Orin with 200TOPS of computing power as standard, providing Level 2+ advanced driving assistance.