China’s Geely Holding Group launched its new pure electric brand in April 2021 – Zeekr – with the first product being an electric SUV – the Zeekr 001. The new brand, which calls itself a ‘premium’ and software-centric mobility provider, has confirmed global ambitions and plans to expand to Europe and North America. Though Geely did not share a timeline at the launch, a press release said Zeekr aims to enter global markets from 2022.
The Zeekr brand caters to the premium to luxury battery electric vehicle segment. In contrast, Lynk & Co sells premium hybrid and ICE vehicles and serves the new mobility segment in Europe. Zeekr is into the segment that contains a monthly volume of some 50,000 electric cars in China.
Zeekr future plans
In April 2021, Zeekr said it would enter Europe by the end of 2022 or in 2023 and North America after 2022.
We’ll focus on the Chinese market this year and we expect to enter the European market by the end of 2022 or in 2023.Zeekr CEO An Conghui on the entry of Zeekr into Europe, speaking to Bloomberg
The company planned to launch five cars in 5 years, based on Geely’s pure electric SEA architecture.
North America is in our plan for the next step, that will happen after 2022. We’ll announce our plan for North America in future.Zeekr CEO An Conghui on the entry of Zeekr into the U.S., speaking to Bloomberg
On 29 December 2021, Zeekr revealed that it plans to develop an electric MPV co-developed with Waymo. A week later, on 5 January 2022, it announced a collaboration with Intel’s Mobileye to introduce a Level 4 autonomous driving capable EV by 2024. On 10 January 2022, a report from cls.cn said that Zeekr will enter Europe in early 2023 and that it plans to export 100,000 EVs a year. Moreover, according to this report, the company will launch seven models by 2025.
On the Zeekr 001
The first from the brand, the Zeekr 001, is labelled the ‘world’s first mass-produced pure electric shooting brake’ and was designed by Geely Design Gothenburg in Sweden. Some of the highlights of the 001 include automatic adjustment of ground clearance from 117 mm to 200 mm, frameless automatic doors which detect passengers approaching and close the door upon entry, in addition to facially recognizing users approaching the EV and making adjustments to the seat, AC, lighting based on the pre-selected individual preference. The 001 will get an over-the-air update at least once per quarter, Zeekr said in April 2021.
The 001 sits on the SEA-M version of the SEA platform. It measures 4,970 mm in length, 1,999 mm in width, 1,548 mm/1,560 mm in height, and a wheelbase of 3,005 mm. It offers a total luggage space of 2,144 litres. It is available in long-range RWD, standard-range AWD, and long-range AWD variants.
The long-range RWD and long-range AWD variants share a 100 kWh battery pack that gives them a range of 712 km (442 mi) and 606 km (377 mi), respectively. The former uses a single motor generating 200 kW and 384 Nm, while the latter sports two motors dishing out a combined power and a total torque of 400 kW and 768 Nm, respectively. A 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) sprint takes 6.9 seconds in the long-range RWD variant, while the long-range AWD variant accomplishes the same in just 3.8 seconds.
The standard-range AWD variant has a smaller, 86 kWh battery pack, with which it cant travel 526 km (327 mi) on a full charge. However, it uses the same motors that develop 400 kW and 768 Nm in the long-range AWD variant. The 0-100 km/h acceleration time is the same – 3.8 seconds.
The 001 has a starting price of CNY 299,000, which converts to GBP 34,694 or EUR 41,604. This price applies to the long-range RWD and standard-range AWD variants. The long-range AWD variant costs CNY 368,000 (GBP 42,701/EUR 51,205).
Zeekr production & sales
Production of the Zeekr 001 started on 19 October 2021, just four days later, on 23 October 2021, its deliveries commenced in China. Zeekr delivered 6,007 units of the 001 to Chinese customers in 2021. Supply was tight last year, but 2022 could be a better year in that regard.
In January 2022, Zeekr delivered 3,530 units of the 001s, bringing the cumulative sales figure to 9,537 units. It also reached the production milestone of 10,000 units. According to the cls.cn report, the company plans to deliver 70,000 units of the 001 this year. An Conghui, CEO, Zeekr, has said that the brand wants to increase annual sales to 650,000 vehicles by 2025, as per a Bloomberg report.
Featured image: ZHG.com