Zeekr 009 Pushes Limit On What Electric Vehicles Can Do

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The Zeekr 009 is the first EV with CATL's Kirin battery

The media has been buzzing with the release of Zeekr’s second model, the 009 multi-purpose vehicle (MPV)—and it is for good reasons. Zeekr 009 is the first six-seat luxury electric minivan and was based on the Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) platform which was used for the Zeekr 001. The platform was also used for the production of Smart #1 and other brands and models under Geely’s portfolio.

Zeekr 009 is also the first EV to get Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited’s (CATL) novel third-generation cell-to-pack Kirin battery. Unlike regular lithium-ion batteries, the new Kirin battery is a 140 kWh lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt unit. 

On the China light-duty passenger car test cycle (CLTC), Zeekr 009 had a range of 511 miles. On the U.S. standard, this will likely be more than 400 miles.

The new battery is coupled to two synchronous motors that deliver a combined 536bhp. These power the 009 from 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds. Zeekr 009 weighs 6,241 pounds and features suspensions with a multi-link arrangement at the rear and dual wishbones at the front. 

Customers can also choose the optional air suspension that offers automatic self-leveling. Another optional feature is the electromagnetic vibration reduction system for those that like quiet rides. 

On November 1, Zeekr officially opened the door for reservations for the 009 which it promoted as having “the handling of sports cars and the power of SUVs”. Deliveries of all valid orders will begin from January 2023.

Data from China Passenger Car Association showed a 15.1% year-on-year sales drop in MPVs in the first three quarters of 2022. This was blamed on the lack of choices since the most available options are designed for business and fall short of offering comfort features and cutting-edge technologies seen in SUVs and sedans.

Zeekr 009 hopes to fill this void in the Chinese vehicle market. In early October 2022, Geely announced a 26% year-on-year jump in the previous month’s sales. Perhaps, this is a sign that Zeekr’s aim of appealing to underserved electric MPV customers is yielding a positive result.

What to expect from Zeekr 009

Zeekr 009 is available in two variants with obvious range differences. An Conghui, the President of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and CEO of Zeekr Intelligent Technology touted the 009 as the first all-electric MPV to hit a range of over 435 miles on a full charge which exceeds 99% of what gasoline-powered vehicles in China can offer.  

Zeekr 009 measures 5.21 meters in length with a width of 2.02 meters. The MPV has a towering height of 1.85 meters with a wheelbase of 3.21 meters. The EV has a space of 7.4 square meters for passengers and drivers. Zeekr 009 can charge from 10% to 80% in 28 minutes. The quietness, space, and more seats are the key highlights of the Zeekr 009.

The distinctive boxy silhouette shape of the 009 was a product of a team of Geely designers working in Gothenburg, Sweden, under the leadership of Stefan Sielaff. Arguably the most astonishing external feature of the 009 is the ‘Spring of Light’ silver plate grille illuminated by 154 programmable LED lights. Also, the headlights are composed of five different lighting elements.

On the rear, you will find a large tailgate and a full-width tail light. Zeekr has also made a bold claim that the rear aluminum body structure measuring 1400mm x 1600mm is the largest one-piece die-cast structure ever used in car production.

The manufacturers also claim that the new 009 MPV has the largest windscreen in its class. According to Zeekr, the windshield has a wraparound A-pillar treatment for improved airflow. The combination of design and windshield gives the new MPV a drag coefficient of 0.27.

Zeekr 009 comes with large wheelhouses that can take up to 20 inches wheels. The front doors open in a conventional way while the rear doors slide open to provide entry into the cabin.

The spacious interior of the 009

Zeekr 009 has a seat arrangement of 2+2+2. However, the company is planning a four-seat 2+2 executive version.  The passenger seats in the middle of the cabin are supplied by Sofaro, an aviation cabin seat specialist. The Nappa leather upholstery has integrated seat belts and is individually adjustable.

There is also space for an optional interactive stereo system with In-Car Communication (ICC) system support. When included, this will allow the passengers in the second and third rows to speak with those in the front rows using microphones embedded in the speakers.

Another optional feature is the 15.6-inch digital display for digital conferences and content streaming. In terms of smart hardware features, the 009 comes with two EyeQ5H high-performance chips from Israel-based Mobileye, an autonomous driving specialist.

It also packs an extensive camera and sensor system including 2-megapixel scanning cameras, 8-megapixel HD cameras, 12 short-range ultrasonic radars, and 1 ultra-long-range millimeter-wave radar that works together to support 30 standard assisted driving functions. The extensive camera inclusions give the EV better perception abilities in all directions.

The improved sensing technology allows the 009 to achieve autonomous driving on lane changes as well as on-and-off high-speed ramps. With the sensing technology, the 009 was able to achieve intelligent hedging and intercommunication.

Delivery of the earlier model, the Zeekr 001 began in October 2021. During the launch of the 009, the company revealed that its sale of the electric liftback in October was 10,119. This was the first time that the company was exceeding 10,000 monthly sales.

Zeekr has set the ambitious goal of achieving 650,000 EV sales globally by 2025. To reach this goal, the company is planning to expand its line-up.

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