First Zeekr BEV Rolls of the ‘Smart’ Production Line

Chinese auto giant Geely has announced the start of production of its latest sub-brand BEV, the Zeekr 001.

First unveiled in April, the sports saloon has been upgraded following consumer feedback from pre-production models. Now the first production-ready Zeekr 001 has rolled off the production line earlier at the auto plant in Ningbo, China.

Testing included dedicated ‘Experience Center’ locations and real-world testing, on city roads, in the mountains and even in the desert. As a result, the final production models have been upgraded in several areas to reflect on feedback from end users. The company is also working on the first over-the-air updates to further improve its autonomous drive features, where the car will keep updating to adapt to the newest software technologies.

Based on Geely Holding Group’s sustainable electric architecture, the vehicle claims a power output of 531bhp of power with maximum torque of 566ft-lbs through a twin motor system capable of sprinting from 0-62 in just 3.8 seconds and back to standstill in 113 feet. Its 100kWh Z-Battery is able to charge from 10% to 80% within 30 minutes.

Connectivity extends to the car’s production plant which is billed as one of the most advanced vehicle facilities created to date thanks to a 5G+ system that allows for flexible and transparent production management. Areas such as the welding section are fully automated with more than 300 robots carrying out the work with limited human intervention thanks to the factory using an industrial grade connectivity intelligent internet system that allows production to be planned, tracked and checked.

As an example of its capabilities, the welding production line adopts monitoring systems such as glue application visual guidance, online measurement and ultrasonic self-inspection. It employs intelligent self-adaptation for welding control to continually improve the welding process.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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