However, the report suggests the project is currently being worked on under the close supervision of Lei Jun, founder and CEO of the company, which suggests Xiaomi considers the manufacturing of an EV a critical project in the long term.
It isn’t the first time Xiaomi is exploring the automotive industry though, as the company has already developed a prototype called Micar back in 2018 in an attempt to test EV manufacturing technology. Still, it’s not yet clear if this old project can help with the production of the new model.
On the other hand, the report indicates that Xiaomi’s CEO even met with Tesla founder Elon Musk several years ago to discuss the manufacturing of EVs, but further specifics have never been shared.
Xiaomi has already invested in several EV companies, most of them based in China, including Xpeng Motor and Nio.
While Xiaomi could very well serve as a manufacturer for these companies, it can also launch its own EV, thus following in Apple's footsteps, the American tech giant currently working on the Apple Car. According to people familiar with the matter, Apple is currently seeking a partner to manufacture the Apple Car following failed negotiations with Hyundai and Nissan.
Xiaomi, which is considered one of Apple’s rivals in the phone market, would most likely join forces with a Chinese carmaker should the plan be indeed the release of its own EV. But given the project is still in its early phases, all details should be treated with skepticism, at least until Xiaomi itself confirms the plan to manufacture an EV.