LeEco, the parent company behind Faraday Future and a giant technology company often referred to as the Chinese Netflix, has revealed a new fully electric luxury sedan called the LeSEE ahead of its Beijing Auto Show premiere which it hopes to go head-to-head against the Model S.
The infusion of Chinese companies into the design and development of Western automakers is getting a little confusing at this point, but I’ll try to break it down.
LeTV is one of the largest online video companies in China, and is referred to as the “Chinese Netflix.” The company has expanded operations beyond video streaming, creating LeEco, which is a company of a technology “ecosystem” developing products beyond video streaming, like electric cars. The company is run by Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting.
Part of this ecosystem eventually funnels down into electric automaker startup Faraday Future, which is financed by Yueting and just broke ground on its American factory last week. Aston Martin also has a deal with LeEco to co-develop technology for the British luxury brand’s upcoming RapidE, a fully electric sedan based on the next generation Rapide.
With that out of the way, LeEco has just revealed its first vehicle with the all-electric LeSEE luxury sedan, with hopes to fight of the growing sales of Tesla’s Model S in the Chinese market.
The LeSEE stands for “Super Electric Ecosystem,” and is expected to go into production by the end of the decade. According to Reuters, the Chinese company is also developing a relatively inexpensive car-sharing service. From Reuters:
LeEco said the concept car, which will be displayed at next week’s Beijing auto show, is not only fully electrically propelled but has been engineered to be a “smart”, “connected” and “automated self-driving” car.
Jia Yueting, co-founder and head of LeEco, said he hopes that when the car hits the market it will help China’s auto industry reach the forefront of the global auto sector.
“When everyone is questioning us over our ability to develop a car like this and is laughing at us, we are still able to be here and show you this car ... I am so emotional,” Jia said at a LeEco launch event for several products in Beijing on Wednesday.
Yueting also claimed that one day the sharing service would offer free rides thanks to LeEco’s other operations covering the costs of transportation.
There’s not much detail about the LeSEE concept, but it will likely come in very close to the capability of the Model S. Images show what is likely a LIDAR or sensor box on top of the concept for semi-autonomous driving, with the car able to communicating with other vehicles and infrastructure.
Electrek claims that the electric car could reach up to 130 mph, integrate with a “private fleet,” and the interior features an isolated area for each passenger where the music, movies, or other entertainment of one wont bother another.
It’s unclear when or how the LeSEE will make it to production, or if LeEco has any plans for a larger lineup. I’ll guess we’ll just have to wait and see.