Update: ‘Cosmetic, hardware & software updates,’ ‘Specifications,’ ‘Zeekr 001 Price,’ and ‘Production & Sales’ sections updated.
Geely Auto Group launched the Lynk & Co Zero Concept from the 2020 Beijing Auto Show in China as the Zeekr 001 in 2021. The 001 electric SUV is the first model from its new brand Zeekr (Chinese: 极氪), and it could have potential in global markets, including the United States.
Cosmetic, hardware & software updates
The 2023 Zeekr 001 doesn’t feature a new design, but it is available in three new colors – Light Orange, Polar Night Black, and Extreme Blue. Color options that have made it from the previous model year include light blue, gray, and white.
Zeekr offers a new Z-Sport package for the 2023 001’s high-performance YOU AWD variant. This package includes the new Light Orange body color, black roof, 22-inch multi-spoke forged wheels wrapped in performance tires, high-performance brake discs, Brembo six-piston calipers, adaptive racing seats with 18-way electric adjustment, and dual-tone orange-gray interior with Alcantara upholstery.
The biggest update for MY2023 is the introduction of a module-less 140 kWh battery pack consisting of Qilin batteries featuring cell-to-pack technology and a rear motor featuring silicon carbide. The former comes from CATL, and the latter is likely a product of VREMT (Viridi E-Mobility Technology). We’ve covered the specifications in detail in the next section.
On July 11, 2022, Zeekr had introduced hardware improvements to the 001’s body and chassis for the 2022 model year. The company had said that the electric SUV can now “self-adapt autonomously” at speeds of up to 130 km/h (81 mph). The EV automatically slows down on detecting pedestrians or non-motor vehicles approaching and maneuvers the other way on detecting a car door open on the side of the road or a truck approaching on the side.
The July 2022 update optimized 200+ key items of the Zeekr 001’s user control functions within the cockpit with the adoption of the Snapdragon 8155 7nm system-on-chip (SoC). An all-new intelligent driving system lets the driver switch between driving modes and has an EV-specific distributed traction control system. The latter brought a 31% improvement in acceleration performance on harsh road surfaces and also snow and ice surfaces. The intelligent driving system enables users to switch between RWD, AWD, and real-time adaptive 4WD drivetrain layouts as required by the prevailing road conditions.
On March 23, 2022, Zeekr had released the Zeekr OS 2.0 to replace the Zeekr OS 1.1.1 with improvements and new features. According to a report from autohome.com.cn, the v2.0 vehicle software covers 33 ECU units. The updated version brought 5 new functions and optimized 59 functions, too.
Zeekr OS 2.0 made the 001 safer with the addition of Adaptive Cruise Control with queuing function, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, and Front Cross-Traffic Alert. The new software also brought a charging abnormality indication reminder function.
Zeekr commenced pushing major OTA updates to customers on February 12, 2022. These were the highlights of the first OTA update:
- The Zeekr OS, which is integrated into the vehicle’s infotainment, digital cluster and vehicle functions, gets its first major update, from 1.0 to 1.1.1 version.
- The update covers 34 on-board ECUs to enhance multiple areas like navigation, display, voice and more.
- Earlier, customers were facing problems with respect to manually locking the electrically operated doors. The update solves this problem, allowing owners to open and close doors manually.
- The update also enables the windows to roll up automatically after the car is locked.
- More features have been added: music light show song, 5G network switch and 3D transparent car model among others.
To ensure that the early adopters of the brand are satisfied customers, which would help it establish a good rep in the market, Zeekr may continue rolling out periodic updates throughout the 001’s lifecycle.
Based on the SEA platform, the Zeekr 001 has an 800-volt operating voltage. It supports rapid charging at 360 kW, and customers can replenish its battery pack to unlock a range of 120 km (75 miles) in just five minutes. In December 2020, Geely Auto Group said that the production car’s battery pack should have a lifespan of 2,000,000 km (1,242,742 miles). 2,200 charging stations with over 20,000 charging facilities are planned for the Zeekr brand by the end of 2023.
From the specifications, it’s evident that the Zeekr 001 is one of Geely Auto Group’s advanced EVs: 400 kW (536 hp) of power, 768 Nm (566 lb.-ft.) of torque, 1,032 km (641 miles) of CLTC range, a 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration time of 3.8 seconds, and a top speed of more than 200 km/h (124 mph). The 001 can accelerate from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) 0.3 seconds quicker than the Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo’s 4.1 seconds (4S variant). The premium Chinese EV boasts a 0.23 Cd value.
The 001 WE RWD has a 100 kWh battery pack and a rear motor. The 001 WE AWD uses a smaller, 86 kWh battery, but it has an additional electric motor at the front that doubles the power and torque. The ME AWD and YOU AWD variants both have the same dual-motor powertrain, but a standard-fit 100 kWh battery pack.
The driving range of the 001 WE RWD and WE AWD configurations have increased by 9 km (6 miles) and 10 km (6 miles), respectively, to 741 km (460 miles) and 546 km (339 miles), respectively, with the MY2023 update. The ME AWD and YOU AWD configurations of the 001 deliver the same CLTC range of 656 km (408 miles) following the MY2023 update, marking an improvement of 40 km (25 miles) and 6 km (4 miles), respectively.
|Aspect||Zeekr 001 WE RWD Specification||Zeekr 001 WE AWD Specification||Zeekr 001 ME AWD Specification||Zeekr 001 YOU AWD Specification|
|No. of Motors||One||Two||Two||Two|
|Power||200 kW||400 kW||400 kW||400 kW|
|Torque||343 Nm||686 Nm||686 Nm||686 Nm|
|Battery Pack Energy Content||100 kWh/140 kWh (Opt.)||86 kWh||100 kWh||100 kWh|
|Acceleration (0-62 mph)||6.9 seconds||3.8 seconds||3.8 seconds||3.8 seconds|
|Top Speed||To Be Disclosed||To Be Disclosed||To Be Disclosed||200+ km/h|
|Braking (62 mph – 0)||To Be Disclosed||To Be Disclosed||To Be Disclosed||34.5 meters|
|Coefficient of drag (Cd)||To Be Disclosed||To Be Disclosed||To Be Disclosed||0.23|
|Peak Charging Power||To Be Disclosed||To Be Disclosed||To Be Disclosed||360 kW|
|New 2023 Range (CLTC)||741 km/1,032 km (Opt.)||546 km||656 km||656 km|
To achieve the 001’s maximum, 1,032-km (641-mile) range, customers need to opt for the new 140 kWh battery pack, which Zeekr exclusively offers in the WE RWD configuration. According to an announcement from CATL, the Qilin batteries used in this pack achieve the world’s highest integration level, with a volume utilization efficiency of 72% and an energy density of up to 255 Wh/kg. They support a hot start in five minutes and fast-charging in ten minutes. The same battery technology has also been used on the Zeekr 009 MPV.
|Length||4,970 mm (195.7 in.)|
|Width||1,999 mm (78.7 in.)|
|Height||1,548 mm (60.9 in.)/1,560 mm (61.4 in.)|
|Wheelbase||3,005 mm (118.3 in.)|
|Ground Clearance||WE RWD, WE AWD, & ME AWD: 174 mm (6.9 in.)|
YOU AWD: 162 mm (6.4 in.)
|Cargo Volume||2,144 liters (75.7 cu. ft.)|
Zeekr 001 Performance variant
According to a report xchuxing.com released on March 23, 2022, Zeekr will launch a more powerful 001. The go-faster 001 could be an upgraded version of the current top-of-the-line YOU AWD configuration or a new configuration, with a likely 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration time of around two seconds, it is reported.
Source: WheelsBoy Youtube channel
The Zeekr 001 features an air suspension, frameless doors, LED headlights and taillights, a LED bar for the taillight, an ultra-wide 14.7-inch color head-up display, 8.8-inch fully digital instrument cluster, 15.4-inch central touchscreen, Nappa leather upholstery, and a Yamaha sound system. The premium electric SUV offers auto-opening doors that open when the driver approaches it as well.
The air suspension system, standard in the YOU AWD configuration, comes from Vibrac, and Tenneco supplies the electric SUV’s electromagnetic shock absorption system. The driver can adjust the vehicle’s height in five levels and keep it anywhere between 117 and 200 mm. The ground clearance of the other two configurations is 174 mm.
The Zeekr 001 features Mobileye SuperVision, a full-stack ADAS that uses 11 high-res cameras (seven 8MP long-range and four parking) to provide the vehicle with full visual coverage of its surrounding. Powered by two 7nm EyeQ 5 SoCs, it enables hands-free driving on a wide range of road types, including urban roads. Full functioning isn’t available yet, but as stated earlier in the story, Zeekr is improving the autonomous driving capabilities of the 001 with OTA updates.
Zeekr expects to give the 001 full SuperVision capabilities with OTA updates, as per a joint announcement from Geely Holding Group and Mobileye dated September 26, 2022.
Zeekr 001 Price
The Zeekr 001’s prices have gone up by CNY 1,000 (USD 145) in the WE RWD and WE AWD configurations with the MY2023. The ME AWD and YOU AWD prices remain unaffected.
|Configuration||Zeekr 001 Price|
|WE RWD||CNY 300,000 (USD 43,517)|
|WE AWD||CNY 300,000 (USD 43,517)|
|ME AWD||CNY 349,000 (USD 50,624)|
|YOU AWD||CNY 386,000 (USD 55,992)|
Designed in Sweden at Geely Design Gothenburg, the 001 is also available on a subscription basis. Zeekr Subscription, first announced in Hangzhou, allows customers to subscribe to the coupe-styled luxury E-segment SUV monthly for 1-12 months. Plus, there are short-tenure options: 3 days, 7 days, and 15 days. The WE single-motor and WE dual-motor configurations are available for subscription.
Customization options include the Yamaha sound system and the intelligent thermostatic AC package. Zeekr provides several complimentary items with the subscription, such as face masks, disinfectant wipes, safety hammers, fire extinguishers, umbrellas, paper towels, mineral water, smartphone charging cables, foot mats, and more.
TopElectricSUV learns that the Zeekr brand caters to the premium to luxury BEV segment. In contrast, Lynk & Co caters to the premium hybrid + ICE segment followed by the new mobility segment in Europe. Zeekr targets the segment that holds a monthly volume of about 50,000 electric cars in China.
Production & Sales
Series production of the Zeekr 001 began on October 19, 2021, and customer deliveries in China commenced on the 23rd of that month. The first 50 customers got their Zeekr 001 outside the production facility in Ningbo (Zhejiang Province).
Zeekr targeted an annual sales of 70,000 001s in 2022, which it achieved. The company delivered 71,941 units of its first model in its first full year of sales. Including the 6,007 units sold in 2021, cumulative deliveries stand at 77,948 units.
Exclusive charging stations
Zeekr 001 customers get to charge at dedicated Zeekr charging stations. These charging stations come under a sub-brand called Zeekr Power. By September 30, 2022, Zeekr had 512 self-built charging stations in 102 cities (excluding special-use stations), including three different types of charging stations with different power capacities. The third-party charging network covers more than 350,000 charging devices in 335 cities across the country, Pandaily reported on October 12, 2022.
Zeekr looks to enter the USA, Canada & Europe
In an interview with Bloomberg (via YouTube) in April 2021, An Conghui, CEO of Zeekr, revealed that the brand plans to go global early this decade. European countries are the first targeted overseas markets, and later, the United States and Canada may also get Zeekr EVs. “We will focus on the Chinese market this year, and we expect to enter the European market by the end of 2022 or in 2023,” Conghui said on the launch of overseas operations. Further, he talked about the potential U.S. launch:
North America is in our plan for the next step. That will happen after 2022. We’ll announce our plans for North America in the future.An Conghui, CEO of Zeekr brand (Bloomberg Interview on April 15, 2021)
On January 10, 2022, Chinese portal Cls published a report stating that Zeekr plans to ship its first units to Europe in early 2023, with a target of 100,000 units by 2025 in exports. According to a report autohome.com.cn released on November 2, 2022, Zeekr plans to introduce a new SUV and a sedan in 2023 and then two more models in 2024, expanding its line-up to six cars.
At the 2021 Guangzhou Auto Show, Zeekr announced a new user service brand called Zeekr Care. Zeekr has set up an exclusive support team called ‘Krypton Orange,’ and users can call them 24 hours a day if they encounter a vehicle problem while driving. Zeekr Care includes a 24-hour online distress support service as well. Zeekr Care services will be available in 208 cities in 31 provinces across China.
Chinese media sites reported after the Geely Auto Group announced the Zeekr brand on March 23, 2021, that the production Lynk & Co Zero Concept would become the first Zeekr model. On March 31, 2021, that exactly ensued; the Zheijang Geely Holding Group’s principal auto division announced the road-ready version of the EV concept as the Zeekr 001.
Geely Auto Group is one of the six verticals of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, comprising Geely Auto, Link & Co, Geometry, Proton, Lotus, and smart brands. Zeekr is a new addition to this business division. Geely Automobile Holdings and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group will jointly own it in a 51:49 ratio. According to the official announcement, Zeekr is “a new electric mobility technology and solutions company.” It is one more addition to Zhejiang Geely Holding Group’s complex structure, which looked like this before its announcement:
Using the parent company’s SEA platform, Zeekr will launch a wide range of high-tech EVs that offer luxury-class comfort and performance. The battery technologies, battery management systems, electric motor technologies, and EV supply chain support will be their own, though.
Zeekr has filed for a U.S. IPO and plans to list its scrip in New York as early as Q2 2023, Reuters reported on December 12, 2022. The company aims to raise over USD 1 billion and is seeking a valuation of more than USD 10 billion. It has completed the formalities for the IPO with regulators, but since the filings were confidential, we couldn’t individually verify the reported information. Zeekr was considering a listing in Hong Kong, but it zeroed in on New York, feeling it could receive a higher valuation here.
For a fraction of the price of the Tesla Model X, the Zeekr 001 has a sporty design, phenomenal performance, high-end technologies, and a worry-free driving range. While it cannot compete with Tesla’s seating capacity or peak performance, it is a good, zero-emission choice for young drivers looking for their first performance vehicle.
Zeekr 001 FAQs
What is the Zeekr 001 price?
The Zeekr 001 costs CNY 300,000 (approx. USD 43,517) onwards in China.
What are the Zeekr 001 competitors?
Price-wise, the Zeekr 001 rivals the Tesla Model Y, in China. Indirect competitors include the Nio ET5 as well.
What is the Zeekr 001 range?
The Zeekr 001 can travel up to 1,032 km (641 miles) on a full charge as per CLTC.
Featured Image Source: Zeekr