U.S, Canada & Europe on the radar of the Zeekr 001 & family [Update]

Update: ‘Zeekr 001 price’ section updated with subscription details.

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.

Zeekr 001 front 2021 Chengdu Motor Show
In addition to the Tesla Model Y, the Zeekr 001 competes with the Nio EC6. Image Source: Weibo/极氪ZEEKR

Specifications

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.

Zeekr 001 2021 Chengdu Motor Show
The Zeekr 001 range (NEDC), depending on the configuration, varies between 526 and 712 km (327 and 442 miles). Image Source: Zeekr

From the specifications, it’s evident that the Zeekr 001 is one of Geely Auto Group’s advanced EVs: 100 kWh battery pack, 712 km (442 miles) of range, 3.8-second 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration time, and 200+ km/h (124 mph) top speed.

The top-end Zeekr 001 has a dual-motor e-AWD setup, with 400 kW (536 hp) of power and 768 Nm (566 lb.-ft.) of torque. It 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.

AspectZeekr 001 WE dual-motor specificationZeekr 001 WE single-motor specificationZeekr 001 YOU dual-motor specification
Drivetrain LayoutAWDRWDAWD
No. of MotorsTwoOneTwo
Power400 kW200 kW400 kW (536 hp)
Torque768 Nm384 Nm768 Nm (566 lb.-ft.)
Battery Pack Energy Content86 kWh100 kWh100 kWh
Acceleration (0-62 mph)3.8 seconds6.9 seconds3.8 seconds
Top SpeedTo Be DisclosedTo Be Disclosed200+ km/h
Braking (62 mph – 0)To Be DisclosedTo Be Disclosed34.5 meters
Coefficient of drag (Cd)To Be DisclosedTo Be Disclosed0.23
Peak Charging PowerTo Be DisclosedTo Be Disclosed360 kW
Range (NEDC)526 km (327 miles)712 km (442 miles)606 km (377 miles)
Specifications of the Zeekr 001
DimensionMeasurement
Length4,970 mm (195.7 in.)
Width1,999 mm (78.7 in.)
Height1,548 mm (60.9 in.)/1,560 mm (61.4 in.)
Wheelbase3,005 mm (118.3 in.)
Ground ClearanceWE single-motor & WE dual-motor – 174 mm (6.9 in.)
WE dual-motor – 117-200 mm (4.6-7.9 in.)
Cargo Volume2,144 liters (75.7 cu. ft.)
Official Zeekr 001 dimensions

Suppliers

According to a report from sohu.com, the Zeekr 001’s battery pack comes from CATL and Wei Rui, and Nidec and Wei Rui supply its electric drive. The report suggests that Zeekr offers a lifetime warranty for the first EV, including its tri-motor system. The battery pack consists of NI55+ cells, and Zeekr is confident that it would not catch fire on the inside in the case of a collision or engulf in flames when punctured. Wei Rui manufactures the standard 86 kWh battery pack, and Ningde produces the bigger, 100 kWh battery pack.

BorgWarner has a hand in the Zeekr 001’s thermal management. It supplies the electric SUV’s coolant heater, which helps to maintain a consistent temperature inside the battery pack and its cells. The coolant heater allows maintaining an ideal cabin temperature as well. It uses a thick film element (TFE), and its heating elements are immersed in coolant to keep the power losses in check. BorgWarner makes it in single and dual plate versions, both integrated into aluminum housings, but it hasn’t said which of the two goes into the Zeekr 001. Its power ranges from 3 to 10 kW.

Zeekr 001 Performance variant

According to a report from xchuxing.com, Zeekr will launch a more powerful 001 at the end of 2022. The go-faster 001 could be an upgraded version of the current top-of-the-line ‘YOU dual-motor’ configuration or a new configuration, with a likely 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration time of around two seconds, it is reported.

Features

Video: 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.

Zeekr 001 interior dashboard driver side
The Zeekr 001 features auto-opening doors like high-end European luxury cars. Image Source: YouTube/Geely Group

The air suspension system, standard only in the YOU dual-motor 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.

Software updates

Zeekr 001 interior dashboard
The Zeekr 001 gets an 8.8-inch fully digital instrument cluster and a 15.4-inch central screen. Image Source: ZGH

To ensure that the early adopters of the brand are satisfied customers, which would help it establish a good rep in the market, Zeekr would improve cars with software updates through their lifecycle.

On March 23, 2022, the brand 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 brings 5 new functions and optimizes 59 functions, too.

Zeekr OS 2.0 makes 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 has also brought a charging abnormality indication reminder function.

Zeekr had 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.

Zeekr 001 price

The Zeekr 001 costs CNY 299,000 (USD 44,962) in the WE dual-motor and WE single-motor variants and CNY 386,000 (USD 58,045) in the YOU dual-motor variant. Designed in Sweden at Geely Design Gothenburg, the coupe-styled luxury E-segment SUV is also available on a subscription basis.

Zeekr Subscription, first announced in Hangzhou, allows customers to subscribe to the 001 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.

Subscribers can choose from four exterior colors: white, blue, gray, and black. Customization options include the Yamaha sound system and the intelligent thermostatic AC package. Zeekr provides several complementary 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.

ConfigurationZeekr 001 Price
WE single-motorCNY 299,000 (USD 44,782)
WE dual-motorCNY 299,000 (USD 44,782)
YOU dual-motorCNY 386,000 (USD 57,812)
Zeerk 001 prices in China

Positioning

TopElectricSUV understands 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 will target the segment, which holds a monthly volume of about 50,000 electric cars in China.

Production

Zeekr 001 production commencement
Zeekr started manufacturing the 001 at its factory in Hangzhou Bay, China, on October 19, 2021, and has made no less than 20,000 cars. Image Source: ZGH

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). On January 27, Zeekr confirmed via Twitter that the brand has recorded the 10,000th Zeekr 001 rolling off the production line, 99 days after the first one.

Zeekr is present at the 2022 Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area International Auto Show since its opening day (May 28, 2022). The company delivered the 20,000th unit of the 001 at the show, which will be open till June 5, 2022.

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. The report mentioned that Zeekr aims to deliver 70,000 units in 2022 in China.

Exclusive charging stations

Zeekr 001 customers get to charge at dedicated Zeekr charging stations, the first of which is in Hangzhou. These charging stations come under a sub-brand called Zeekr Power. Zeekr Power planned to open a total of 290 charging stations in the brand’s home country and build charging outlets in more than ten major cities by the end of 2021. In the first two months of 2022, it launched 38 self-built charging stations, as per another report from Pandaily. The company operates charging stations in 20 cities in China as of March 17, 2022.

Zeekr 002 & Zeekr 003

While the Zeekr 001 is a renamed Lynk & Co model, the Zeekr 002 and Zeekr 003 (names connoting the second and third launches in the Zeekr model series) look to be original products.

Geely Auto Group envisions Zeekr to contribute 650,000 units to its annual sales every year by 2025. To grow sales to such a level, Zeekr will launch new models and expand operations to cover overseas markets. In November 2021, Zhao Yuhui, Vice President, Zeekr, told autohome.com.cn that the company will launch six models in the next three years (by 2024).

Zeekr’s next launch after the 002 MPV will likely be an electric sedan called Zeekr 003. Sedans may be dying in many big markets worldwide, but not in China. Here they continue enjoying demand, especially in the EV category, where the body style allows more range than SUV. Patent images (view on sohu.com) have revealed that the alleged Zeekr 003 will be an electric sedan with a flowing, fastback roofline. Its bug-eyed headlights and technical-looking full-width tail lights are inspired by the 001 SUV. There’s no word on the launch date, but we’re expecting it during the second half of 2023.

Future Zeekr models will include a new autonomous ride-hailing MPV for use in the Waymo One autonomous ride-hailing fleet in the U.S. The autonomous ride-hailing EV will be available in two configurations – with and without driver controls. The Chinese automaker is developing the van at the China Europe Vehicle Technology Centre, its R&D facility in Gothenburg, Sweden. Waymo will integrate the Waymo Driver autonomous driving software and hardware after Zeekr ships the vehicle to the United States.

2024 Zeekr EV to get L4 autonomous capability

In further developments, along with Intel’s Mobileye, Zeekr will introduce a new EV with Level 4 (L4) autonomous driving capabilities. In Level 4, the vehicle can execute all driving tasks in nearly all conditions without needing driver attention.

The autonomous driving-specializing Zeekr EV will feature Mobileye’s True Redundancy sensing, Responsibility-Sensitive Safety (RSS)-based driving policy, and Road Experience Management (REM), and Geely’s SEA platform. Mobileeye’s EyeQ SoC will power the autonomous driving hardware, and there will be six EyeQ SoCs in total. This Zeekr EV will be a global model, and if everything goes as planned, it will debut in China in 2024, before a global rollout.

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)

Zeekr Care

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.

Zeekr is reportedly developing a physical key for the 001 and plans to offer it by the end of 2022. The brand should see to it that it clears out niggles before commencing exports.

Zeekr brand

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’s exactly what 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:

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group structure
The new EV brand will come under the Geely Auto Group division of Zheijang Geely Holding Group. Image Source: ZGH

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.

An earlier post on CarNewsChina.com’s Facebook page had said that Zeekr EVs will be sold exclusively online, with retail locations, possibly only for display and/or deliveries in big cities. The same was the Lynk & Co models’ plan, but they are being sold via the regular dealerships now, the page noted.

Zeekr 001 rear three quarters
The Zeekr 001’s maximum range (NEDC) is 712 km (442 miles). The brand said in March 2021 that it will launch one EV every year for the next 5 years. Image Source: ZGH

Zeekr to privately raise funding

Geely no longer plans a listing on the Shanghai Stock Exchange Star Market, and it’s raising funds for its new high-end EV brand Zeekr independently. The move could speed up the development at Zeekr, China Merchants Securities said in a research note, as per a June 2021 report from CnEVPost.

Zeekr 001 FAQs

What is the Zeekr 001 price?

The Zeekr 001 costs CNY 299,000 (USD 44,962) 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 712 km (442 miles) on a full charge as per NEDC.

Featured Image Source: Weibo/极氪ZEEKR