That’s why it’s a pretty big deal that Chinese automaker Zeekr’s new model, the 2023 Zeekr 001, can reportedly travel a whopping 641 miles on a single charge.
If the new vehicle can deliver on its purported specs, it will represent a milestone moment in EV development. Automotive news website Motor1.com writes that the 2023 Zeeker 001 would be “the world’s longest-range production vehicle to our knowledge,” as the car would be capable of driving from Washington, D.C. to Atlanta, Georgia on a single charge.
Car and Driver, which maintains a list of the longest-range EVs on the market, currently ranks the 2022 Air from California carmaker Lucid as the top performer with a range of 520 miles. That’s more than 100 miles fewer than the 2023 Zeekr 001 — and the Zeekr model is approximately $125,000 less expensive.
Zeekr, which is owned by the same Chinese parent company as automakers like Volvo and Lotus, is in the middle of a major expansion. Electrek has reported on an internal letter detailing Zeekr’s near-term growth plans, which include doubling sales and entering the European market.
Though Zeekr’s vehicles are not yet available in the United States, the company’s CEO, An Conghui, told Bloomberg that North America “is in our plan for the next step,” and efforts to break into the North American market will ramp up in the near future.
“Zeekr is a global brand; it will face the global market in the future,” Conghui told Bloomberg. “There are no boundaries to the EV industry in the future.”
That certainly appears to be true in the United States, where Fortune Business Insights projects the market for electric vehicles to quadruple in the next five years. Increased demand for EVs has already driven major technological advances, with the average EV range more than doubling from 2011 to 2021.
With concerns over global temperatures mounting, and the Inflation Reduction Act greatly incentivizing EV adoption, further efficiency advances could become routine.
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