The Zeekr 001 has officially entered production with the first vehicle rolling off the production line today at its assembly plant in Ningbo, China. This new facility is one of the most advanced, according to its parent company Geely Holding Group. In the welding facility over 300 robots carry out fully automated work with minimal human intervention. It also uses 5g+ connectivity to plan and track production as transparently as possible. This enables the facility to continuously improve its production processes over time to maximize precision.
Since its introduction at the 2021 Shanghai auto show, the Zeekr 001 received several improvements before it entered production. The vehicle was tested extensively on a broad range of road conditions to improve the car ahead of it getting into consumers’ hands. It will also get over-the-air (OTA) updates to improve its driver assistance features dubbed Zeekr Assisted Drive (ZAD) and other key features.
The Zeekr 001 is the first vehicle on the new SEA architecture, which will eventually be used by other brands under the Geely umbrella including Volvo, Polestar, Smart, and Lotus. Its two electric motors generate a combined output of 536 hp and 544 lb-ft of torque. This allows the 001 to hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.8 seconds. A 100-kWh battery is available in addition to the standard 86-kWh unit. Charging the larger of the two batteries from 10 to 80 percent takes roughly 30 minutes. While the peak rates haven’t been revealed, the new SEA platform likely features an 800-volt charging architecture when you take into consideration the battery’s size.
The Zeekr 001 has a 118.3-inch wheelbase and is 195.6 inches long. That makes it 3.0 to 4.0 inches shorter than a Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo, putting it right in the heart of the mid-size car segment. An air suspension will be standard on all 001 models.
The first deliveries of the Zeekr 001 are scheduled for Oct. 23 of this year at the Zeekr Intelligent factory. You can also take delivery of your vehicle at dedicated Zeekr Experience Centers and Spaces (read: dealers) across China. Currently, the two experience centers are located in Hangzhou and Shanghai. Two Spaces are currently open, one in Hangzhou and another in Tianjin. There are 10 more Zeekr Spaces scheduled to come online within the coming weeks.
Zeekr will also have dedicated charging stations with 360 kW DC chargers in 10 Chinese cities before the end of 2021. That’s on top of third-party stations across 272 cities in China to provide the best experience for its owners.
The Zeekr 001 gives us a glimpse at the electrified future of the brands under Geely Holdings. This is just the first of many as Volvo, Polestar, and Lotus are also going to show new battery-electric vehicles underpinned by the SEA platform family. Successors to the XC40, C40, and Polestar 2 are all expected to go on the new architecture, specifically, SEA2, which has been optimized for use in subcompact, compact, and mid-size vehicles. The Polestar 4 and the replacement for the Volvo XC60 are expected to be the first SEA vehicles in the Polestar and Volvo lineups when they arrive in 2024. Polestar’s first crossover, the Polestar 3, and the successor to the Volvo XC90 will ride on the SPA2 platform since those are larger vehicles.