Bed, kitchen and drone: How Chinese EV makers are luring customers with features

  • Chinese electric manufacturers are busy adding quirky features to attract customers amid fall in sales.
BYD Yangwang U8 DJI drone
Chinese EV giant BYD has partnered with DJI to create the world's first vehicle-integrated drone. BYD's YangWang U8 SUV houses a DJI drone in an intricate rooftop docking system.
BYD Yangwang U8 DJI drone
Chinese EV giant BYD has partnered with DJI to create the world's first vehicle-integrated drone. BYD's YangWang U8 SUV houses a DJI drone in an intricate rooftop docking system.

Amid falling sales of electric vehicles, China's EV makers are leaving no stone unturned to lure customers for a turnaround. The slowdown in demand has forced Chinese EV manufacturers to offer high-end features with their models, some of them are quirky in nature, to help boost sales. Unique features like beds, kitchen and even drones are being offered as part of the electric vehicle's long list of features to attract more buyers. Here is a quick look at some of these features that are currently being offered.

Drones

BYD, world’s largest EV manufacturer, has recently tied up with DJI to create the world's first vehicle-integrated drone. The EV maker's YangWang U8 SUV comes with DJI drone with an integrated launch platform mounted in its roof. The drone can be launched from and land on a retractable case. It can fly around the vehicle to click images and short videos of the electric SUV's journey and offer memories for the customer's trips. The drone is programmed to return to the dock when the electric SUV reaches its destination. The drone's movement can be controlled through the integrated touchscreen display inside the car. It can also be recharged through an in-built system.

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Beds

Camper van or home-on-wheel concept has been taken a step further by Chinese EV maker XPeng with its G9 SUV. It comes with an integrated bed which can sleep two people at a time. The bed can be opened with just a click on the EV's touchscreen display. It helps to drop both front and back seats completely flat. The seats also get a double-size air mattress which is automatically inflated to offer a cosy bed. The feature is also helpful in case a customer needs to wait for the electric SUV to recharge in the middle of a trip.

Kitchen and camping gear

Kitchen and tents as add-ons are among other camping features offered by Chinese carmakers in their electric vehicles to attract customers who love outdoor experiences. Rox Motor Tech offers camping-style kitchen with an induction cooker and water dispenser in its Polestones 01 EV. The kitchen is mounted at the rear of the EV. It also comes with a sun canopy, or awning, attached to the roof. It can be detached and stowed away when not in use. Li Auto's L-Series SUVs offer in-built seat massage functionality which are offered only in high-end luxury cars.

Gaming

US-based EV maker Tesla has already introduced this feature in its models. The in-car gaming platform Steam was introduced in 2022. Chinese EV maker Li Auto too has allowed customers to connect their Nintendo Switch to its cars' system. BYD has also redesigned its steering wheel so that it can be detached to play video games on the in-car display. However, this feature has its share of controversy regarding road safety. It is already facing federal investigation in the United States. The in-car gaming feature offered in Chinese EVs only allow customers to play when the car is stationary and the engine is turned off.

Fishing

Geely and its EV brand Zeekr are developing an integrated fishing system complete with a line and hook. These EVs will use location sensors to offer details on depth and flow of water bodies nearby and find the best spot to fish. It will also offer a device for casting and as well as reel in when it catches a fish.

First Published Date: 11 Mar 2024, 11:38 AM IST
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