Power batteries are one of the core components of Xiaomi Auto, and the company has finalized two suppliers, CATL and FinDreams Battery, which is owned by BYD, 36Kr reported on August 17. These two battery companies dominate the top two places in battery installation capacity in China.
Xiaomi will deliver its first EV in the first half of 2024. Earlier, 36Kr reported that Xiaomi Auto will provide both a high-end and a low-end configuration for its first vehicle. Specifically, the low-end version will be packed with a 400V voltage platform and the higher-end version will have a 800V voltage platform. Accordingly, the lower-end models will be equipped with BYD’s ferrous lithium phosphate blade battery, while the higher-end models will be equipped with the latest Kirin battery made by CATL.
The blade battery is BYD’s main product, and it is exactly because of the blade battery that the company has recently entered Tesla’s supply chain. Kirin batteries, meanwhile, are the third generation of CTP (Cell To Pack) introduced by CATL in June this year. The volume utilization rate of Kirin battery is higher than 72%, which increases the energy density of ternary battery packs to 255Wh/kg and supports a 1000 km battery life.
When the Kirin battery were first released, it caused some discussion in the industry. Li Xiang, CEO of Li Auto, took the lead in announcing on Weibo that the company would adopt the Kirin battery for its pure electric vehicles next year. Since then, Avatr, a joint venture of Changan and CATL, and Hozon Auto, were also announced to be the first batch of customers for the Kirin battery.
However, according to industry sources, the Kirin battery used by Xiaomi Auto is a little bit different. The battery may feature a customized charging rate and thermal management, and might be referred to as “Golden Kirin” within CATL.
In addition to determining power battery suppliers, another core component of Xiaomi Auto, the intelligent driving computing platform, has also identified its partners. According to people familiar with the matter, it is also configured according to the high- and low-end models. Xiaomi Auto will use the NVIDIA Orin chip on the high-end models while the domain controller will be provided by Desay SV. The low-end models, however, will use the domain controller products of Continental Group.
Up to now, Xiaomi’s auto project has been established for almost two years. Lei Jun, CEO of Xiaomi, spoke about the progress of the company’s automated driving business in his speech on the evening of August 11. He said the R&D team has over 500 people, and expects to have 600 staff by the end of this year. Xiaomi will invest 3.3 billion yuan ($486.7 million) in the research and development in the first phase of automated driving.