Chinese tech giant Huawei is fast regaining its momentum that was significantly stalled by the massive sanction regime by the US. The company has vigorously pursued its diversification along several lines including electric vehicle manufacturing in partnership with automakers.
Using its homegrown software solution, HarmonyOS, the company is fast evolving its ecosystem that will be sufficiently insured against external shocks. Huawei’s first EV using its proprietary HarmonyOS operating system will be the Aito M5, a hybrid car that runs on both electricity and gasoline.
Richard Yu, executive director and double CEO of Huawei’s consumer business group and the intelligent automotive unit, made the announcement at Huawei’s winter product launch event. The first deliveries of the Aito M5 are set to take place in February 2022 after the Lunar New Year festivities in China, The Aito M5 offers a peak power and driving range that is better than the Model Y, in the words of Yu.
This is coming less than a week after Nio announced its model that can compete with Tesla. Huawei says it doesn’t make cars on its own but continues to provide the tech backbone that could fast-track the development of autonomous vehicles.
The Aito M5 will be priced starting at 250,000 yuan ($39,164) after subsidy adjustments have been made. That’s lower than Tesla’s Model Y at about 281,000 yuan ($44,122) after subsidies. However, unlike Tesla’s cars, the Aito M5 is not purely powered by electricity as it has a fuel tank for extending driving range when the battery has run out of power.
The Aito M5 also features double-layered sound-proof glass for an enhanced driving experience. The Aito M5 is manufactured by the automaker Series. Aito stands for “adding intelligence to auto.”
The HarmonyOS integration with the AITO M5 is an important milestone for Series and Huawei. One of Huawei’s smartwatches can also be used as a car key for the Aito M5, according to Yu.