Chinese luxury electric vehicle (EV) maker Zeekr has confirmed that it will be adding a new sedan to its line-up this year as part of its expansion plan.
According to Autocar, Zeekr CEO An Conghui has said the brand will launch a new model every six months as part of its plan to reach 650,000 sales a year by 2025.
The sedan, currently codenamed CS1E (compact sedan first-generation electric), is expected to become a rival to the Tesla Model 3 and will be slightly longer than the recently unveiled Zeekr X compact SUV.
The brand aims to double its current annual sales to 140,000 units by entering the European market in 2023.
“Zeekr is a well-established product in China but will expand rapidly in international markets, which is our original goal,” said Mr An Conghui.
CEO An Conghui has previously said that the 001 is intended for launch in Europe, and it’s possible that the upcoming CS1E could join the lineup there.
The Zeekr X is expected to spearhead the brand’s European launch.
It was designed in Sweden, and is based on Geely’s Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA), a dedicated EV platform that allows for rear and all-wheel drive configurations.
Zeekr’s international base in Gothenburg, Sweden employs over 1000 people and is a possible design site for future Europe-bound models including the upcoming CS1E.
Like the rest of the Zeekr portfolio, the sedan will likely be built on the same SEA underpinnings as the rest of the lineup.
Zeekr also has a five-year strategic partnership with Chinese battery giant CATL to use its Qilin cell-to-pack (CTP) battery technology in upcoming vehicles.
CATL claims the battery technology improves range, charging speed, safety, efficiency, and low-temperature performance and is capable of delivering a range of over 1000km.
Zeekr’s plan to launch in Europe in 2023 and potentially the US in 2024 means it will join the likes of BYD and Nio as Chinese EV brands looking to make their mark on the international stage.
A spokesperson for Geely Automobile said the group is aiming for a sales target of 1.65 million units this year from its collection of brands, a 15 per cent increase from 2022.
Owned by Chinese automotive giant Geely, Zeekr was founded in 2021.
Its first model, the 001, was initially previewed as a Lynk & Co, before Geely decided to create a new EV-only brand.
The brand delivered a total of 71,941 units of the Zeekr 001 in China last year, and revealed an electric people mover called the 009.
It subsequently revealed its X crossover last month, which will go on sale in China in the third quarter of this year.