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Zeekr CX1E: A Strong Chinese Competitor to Tesla Model Y

Chinese startup Zeekr has unveiled a new electric car, the Zeekr CX1E, which it aims to use to compete with the Tesla Model Y, the world's best-selling American electric car.

The Zeekr CX1E compact crossover electric vehicle is part of Zeekr's plan to introduce 7 new electric vehicles by 2026.

Front view of the Zeekr CX1E electric SUV, a strong Chinese competitor to the Tesla Model Y

Zeekr CX1E: A Strong Chinese Competitor to Tesla Model Y

Chinese automaker Zeekr has described its ambitious compact electric crossover, including its new CX1E, as a Model Y competitor.

Over the past five years, many brands have tried to challenge Tesla, the world's most successful and best-selling electric car maker.

Some of these companies have managed to achieve some modest success. But it is not easy to dethrone the world's best-selling car.

Zeekr CX1E wants to become the best-seller

But that won’t stop plenty of brands from trying again. This time, Zeekr is taking on Tesla with an as-yet-unnamed crossover, currently codenamed CX1E.

Given the success of the Zeekr over the past year, this concept car could be the one that can compete with the Model Y in some markets.

Zeekr Electric Plans

The CX1E comes as part of the brand's push to introduce seven models by 2026. Some of these models will likely remain exclusive to the Chinese market, such as the minivan-style Zeekr Mix.

But others will fight it out in markets where Zeekr is expanding, such as Mexico, South Korea, and a growing number of countries in Western Europe.

Specifications of the Chinese Zeekr CX1E electric car

From what we can see from the camouflaged images, the CX1E looks like the SUV version of the Zeekr 007 sedan.

Both feature a similarly shaped front light bar. At the rear, the taillight bar is similarly thin, with the brake and reverse lights integrated near the bottom of the bumper cover.

Just like the 007, the tailgate closing line ends with the edge of the rear wheel opening. There's even what appears to be a LiDAR sensor above the top of the windshield, just like the higher-equipped Zeekr 007.

Zeekr CX1E Platform and Battery

With that information in mind, it can be logically assumed that the CX1E will use the same SEA (Sustainable Experience Architecture) architecture as the Zeekr 007.

This could mean it will also get a massive die-cast chassis and over 600 horsepower.

Zeekr CX1E Battery and Charger

It also means the CX1E will feature the same 800V architecture. In the Zeekr 007, this 800V architecture enables a maximum DC charging speed of up to 500kW.

If the CX1E came with the same 75 kWh battery, it might be able to charge from 10-80% in about twelve minutes.

This is a huge improvement over the Tesla Model Y, which takes over 30 minutes to charge from 10-80%.

The difficulty of Zeekr CX1E entering the European and American market

Now, unfortunately for Zeekr, things have become increasingly hostile towards Chinese brands in the US and Europe.

The chances of the CX1E or any Zeekr product entering the United States are not as high as they were six months ago. This is due to the restrictions and high taxes that both European countries and the United States are trying to impose on Chinese cars, in an attempt to limit their expansion and spread.

However, because Zeekr is a Geely brand, and is responsible for much of its vehicle development, there's a good chance we'll see CX1E components in future Volvo or Polestar models.

If the upcoming Zeekr CX1E is the right size, reasonably priced, and made in a country that won't be subject to profit-sapping tariffs, a Volvo-branded CX1E could be an excellent alternative to the XC60.

A Zeekr representative said that the official name and more specifications about the upcoming electric vehicle will be announced at a later date.