Zeekr X tackles Model Y with sub-$30,000 price, tech twists

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Chinese automaker Geely’s Zeekr brand this week unveiled its third model, a nearly Tesla Model Y-sized crossover that will sell for less than $30,000 in its home market.

The Zeekr X follows the 009 van and the 001, a hatchback based on a concept originally badged for Geely’s Lynk & Co. brand, in the all-electric Zeekr brand’s lineup. Deliveries in China are scheduled to start in June with a base price of 189,800 yuan, equivalent to $27,600 at current exchange rates. European sales will follow, but there are no plans to bring the X to the U.S.

Geely is also the parent company of Volvo and Polestar, which influenced the development of the Zeekr X. The crossover was designed in Volvo’s hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden, albeit at what Zeekr claims is a standalone design studio. The styling itself hews closely to the Lynk & Co.-inspired look of the 001.

2023 Zeekr X

2023 Zeekr X

The X also shares Sustainable Electric Architecture (SEA) underpinnings with the Polestar 3 and Volvo EX90 electric SUVs. It’s a bit smaller than those other SEA-based models, however. At 175 inches long, it’s around the same size as the Volvo XC40 Recharge.  And with Zeekr’s billing as a “premium electric car company,” the longer Model Y is surely in the upstart EV’s crosshairs.

Zeekr claims an impressive 3.7-second 0-62 mph time, as well as 348 miles of range on China’s CLTC testing cycle. That would likely equate to something less than 300 miles by U.S. EPA standards, but more than 250 miles.

2023 Zeekr X

2023 Zeekr X

The Zeekr crossover also boasts a few novel tech features, including a sliding touchscreen that can be repositioned in front of the passenger. It’s an alternative to the fixed front-passenger screens now being offered on Mercedes-EQ electric models. The B-pillar also includes facial recognition and a small screen that shows the state of charge.

Zeekr aims for an “asset light strategy” that looks to suppliers for core tech. One example is a partnership with CATL that Zeekr has said will deliver EVs with 600 miles of range. The Zeekr 009 uses CATL’s cell-to-pack tech to achieve an estimated 514 miles of range on the CLTC testing cycle, so the brand is already well on its way toward that goal.

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