Chinese smartphone manufacturing company, Huawei Technologies, has introduced its smart vehicles in its flagship stores across China.
This move comes a month after Xiaomi announced plans to start producing electric vehicles.
Huawei, which is a telecom equipment giant continues to look for new revenue drivers after its smartphone and network gear operations were hit by US sanctions.
The first vehicle in the fleet, the SF5 model, was jointly launched by the Shenzhen-based tech giant and carmaker SERES, and is the first vehicle to officially enter Huawei’s stores.
The SF5, which is an electric-petrol hybrid vehicle, is equipped with Huawei’s HarmonyOS-based HiCar system.
The vehicle has a driving range of 180 kilometres – when in pure electric mode – and over 1,000 kilometres in extended-range mode.
A salesman at Huawei’s store said the HiCar system enables users to switch between their mobile phone apps and the vehicle’s central control panel, and can connect the car to other smart devices such as TVs, air conditioners and other gadgets.
Speaking on the product, the head of Huawei’s consumer business, Richard Yu, said at a press event that US sanctions had hurt its smartphone supply chain.
“The electric vehicle is the only product that can offset losses in our smartphone business as they command high prices – although overall sales are not yet as high as smartphones.”
According to information on Huawei’s official website, there are two versions available, one priced at 216,800 yuan and another at 246,800 yuan.
While some are excited about the new product, some people think it would be smarter to wait a while, noting that the benefits of linking the car to devices in the home would not be that attractive until more homes are smart.
Huawei’s move into intelligent cars comes as its mainstream smartphone and network gear businesses reel under the impact of US restrictions that cut off its access to high-end chips.
In similar reports, automaker, BAIC, also unveiled the Arcfox Alpha S. Arcfox Alpha S is an all-electric vehicle whose software and hardware parts are entirely powered by Huawei.
BAIC offers two different vehicle models – Alpha S and Alpha S HI versions, each with base and high-end configurations.
The Arcfox Alpha S has its power coming from a Kirin 990A chip, which is developed by Huawei. It also offers 5G support and runs on HarmonyOS.
The vehicle is packed with a massive 4K screen installed on the dashboard, voice recognition capabilities, and gestures support, so that users can interact with the car without touch.
Speaking about the EV capabilities, the available 93.6 kWh battery is said to offer an autonomy that goes up to over 700km with every full charge.
The vehicle also has fast charging software that allows the battery get up to 197km worth of power in just 10 minutes.