LeEco unveils first electric vehicle at Beijing Auto Show

Posted on 25 Apr 2016 by Michael Cruickshank

Chinese electronics company LeEco has shown off its first electric vehicle today at the Beijing Auto Show.

The car, called the LeSEE, is a battery-powered all electric vehicle designed to disrupt the automotive market, both in China and abroad.

LeEco, formerly known as LeTV, is a principle investor in electric vehicle startup Faraday Future, and will reportedly manufacture the new vehicle in its factory in the US.

Production of the LeSEE is expected to begin within the next few years, however no official release date has been announced.

A concept version of the vehicle itself was shown off at a company press event last week. This car, similar to the Tesla Model S, is a high-end, 4-door luxury sedan.

Aesthetically the car, while sporty and futuristic, is much more traditionally-designed than the FFZERO1 concept car developed by sister company Faraday Future.

Internally, the car features cockpit-like seats and a touchscreen control panel similar to those within Tesla vehicles. Interestingly the LeSEE also features a retractable steering wheel, optimized for planned autonomous capabilities.

While little is known about exactly how autonomous the final production vehicle will be, during last week’s unveiling LeEco CEO Jia Yueting demonstrated the car’s ability to follow voice commands through an app.

Nonetheless currently few concrete details about the car’s full specifications such as top speed and battery range have been publicized by the company.

Disruptive business model

While no price tag has been so-far been put on the LeSEE, LeEco has suggested that it plans to use new and disruptive pricing models to help outmaneuver competitors.

The company reportedly plans to eventually give away its cars for free, instead making money through the sale of content and services within its fleet of connected vehicles.

Jia Yueting also hinted that the company may use a zero-money upfront repayment model similar to that offered by many mobile phone carriers.

“Our cars’ pricing model will be similar to pricing models for cellphones and TV sets we sell today,” he said according to Reuters.