China’s Zeekr has launched an updated version of its debut model, the 001 performance hatchback, for 2023.
The premium EV brand of Geely hasn’t messed around with the 001’s handsome looks but has upped the vehicle’s performance in a major way.
The 001 is now available with a 140-kwh battery pack as an alternative to the 86- and 100-kwh options that have been available since the 001’s 2021 launch.
The 140-kwh battery is the new Qilin design from Chinese battery giant CATL. Announced last June, Qilin is CATL’s third-generation cell-to-pack battery and is promised with an energy density of 0.255 kwh per kilogram of weight, plus 13% improved power delivery compared to the 4680-type battery used by Tesla.
Zeekr claims the battery will deliver a range of more than 621 miles in the 001. The Manila Times, citing information published by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, reported on Tuesday that the 001’s official range estimate with the 140-kwh battery is 641 miles. The battery was also reported to weigh 1,602 pounds, bringing the vehicle’s curb weight to 5,170 pounds.
The range figures are based on the test cycle used in China, but even with the stricter test cycle used by the EPA in the U.S., the 001 with the 140-kwh may have what it takes to outlast the 520-mile range of the Lucid Air Dream Edition.
Deliveries of the updated 001 start in China in the first quarter of 2023, and Zeekr is limiting the 140-kwh battery option to just 1,000 vehicles. The starting price with the 140-kwh battery is 403,000 Renminbi ($58,300). The starting price for the 2023 001 range is 300,000 Renminbi ($43,400).
Zeekr will offer the battery in the 009 minivan later this year. Zeekr is also developing a minivan designed to be used by companies operating robotaxis. The first robotaxi customer is Waymo, the self-driving technology company of Alphabet.
Other updates for the 2023 001 include new exterior colors and a Z-Sport package. The standard powertrain is a single motor at the rear rated at 286 hp, while a dual-motor all-wheel-drive setup with 536 hp is available.
Zeekr operates exclusively in China but plans to expand to Europe in 2023 with the 001. There are no plans to expand to the U.S. at present, but there are reports the brand may launch an IPO here.
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