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Tim Culpan

This Smartphone Brand's Move Into EVs Is Totally Sane

Xiaomi already outsources most of its hardware. Electric cars would follow the same model.

Lei Jun wants to take the Xiaomi brand on the road.

Lei Jun wants to take the Xiaomi brand on the road.

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Xiaomi Corp.’s plans to move into electric vehicles are big, bold and brave. They’re also entirely in keeping with the smartphone company’s business model of developing a brand rather than the hardware it sells.

After announcing earlier this month that it will join the long list of those wanting to make cars, the Beijing-based company on Wednesday put a price tag on them: as low as 100,000 yuan ($15,000). According to the South China Morning Post, founder Lei Jun said that the first model will be either a sport utility vehicle or a sedan — ending any speculation that it could have been a sportscar or motorhome.