News Detail

Robocar 01: Apple & Google Gave Up, But Baidu Didn't

Issuing time:2024-05-11 16:42Author:William Sundin

What is it?

Imagine if VW & Google built an EV. The interior design and the fit an finish of VW, with google’s brain power providing all the tech. Sounds intriguing right? The Jiyue 01 Robocar is basically the Chinese version of that. Most would assume an EV with such credentials would cause huge excitement, but sales have been pretty lacklustre.

The Jiyue 01 has been on the market for a while now, and my genuine opinion, it’s missed the boat. There are still some extremely impressive things about this smart EV. But time stands still for no one, and no EV.   In the rapidly evolving Chinese EV market, being a year late to deliveries means a top-end spec list on launch, arrives to the market as just another middling contender among many.

Jiyue 01.png


The Jiyue 01 Robocar sits in a very competitive price point here in the Chinese domestic market. The 200-300,000 RMB ($27,000-$41,500) EV price segment is absolutely cut throat in China.

The Jiyue 01 offers three trim levels, with prices ranging from just under $30,500 for the base RWD model to around $43,000 for the dual-motor performance model. Our test car, the RWD super long-range version, is priced at $35,000, placing it in the middle of the range.



At the front Jiyue 01styling is surprisingly low-key given the name “Robocar.” In my mind something called the “Robocar” should look sci-fi like, as if it oozes tech. However, the Jiyue 01 leans into a more sedate styling. There isn’t a bad angle on the car, it just doesn’t really excite in the way the name would suggest.

The side profile shows the clever space packaging of this EV. Short front and rear overhangs means that this 4.8m long EV has a wheelbase of 3m, normally seen on 5m+ vehicles. In terms of styling it have an aggressive rising belt line, and a roof line that falls into the rear. Combined it makes the Jiyue 01look like it has a very sporty rakish roof line, but in reality it’s a trick on the eyes, and means it achieves this look without huge sacrifices on interior rear headroom.

The rear provides a bit more interest. A seriously angled rear windscreen injects some sportiness into this crossover, with a rood mounted spoiler. There is also an optional auto-deploying trunk spoiler which seems a little out of place on a crossover. However, unlike the side profile where the styling gives an impression of a sporty roof line without compromising interior space, the rear slop does impact truck space from a usability standpoint. Jiyue claim the 01 has 710 liters of space, swelling to 2,161L with the second row folded down. But the shape of the trunk is fairly shallow due to the rear rake.



The interior is dominated by the single panel 35.6inch wide screen, powered by a Snapdragon 8295. While watching movies isn’t an iMax experience, restricted to normal 16:9, playing games or KTV allows a full widescreen experience.

Our test car was equipped with the optional yoke, and while it gave a great view and access to the touchscreen instrument panel portion of the screen, it wasn’t a great experience when driving.

Interior materials such as the thin Napa leather trim and hard plastics, which would have been acceptable for an EV in this price range 12 to 18 months ago, now pose a challenge for the Jiyue 01. Its biggest issue is the shift in the market since its announcement. The recent price wars have flooded the Jiyue 01's price segment with more premium EVs from other brands that have significantly reduced their prices in recent months.


In terms of design, the Jiyue 01 boasts a minimalist, futuristic interior. The elongated screen and the yoke steering wheel contribute to this aesthetic, as does the floating central armrest. The seats, with their large bolstering and elaborate floating headrests, create a cockpit-like feel reminiscent of a spaceship. However, the front cup holders are in an awkward position, requiring a considerable stretch to reach.

In the rear of the Jiyue 01, there's ample space thanks to its three-meter-long wheelbase. The legroom is generous, allowing for stretching out. Headroom is good, with a panoramic roof adding to the sense of space.


Features include a small screen for controlling the third-zone A/C and music, along with USB-C ports and a small storage pocket. The seats are comfortable, despite the lack of recline or massage functions, which are becoming standard in premium cars. Overall, the rear of the Jiyue 01 offers a spacious and comfortable experience.

One of the standout features of the Jiyue 01 is the voice assistant system. Not only is it able to handle many many commands at lightening speed, but it can be called on from the interior or exterior! As you walk to the car you can shout at the voice assistant to open the doors as you approach, or perhaps open the trunk when your hands are full of shopping bags.


Range & Battery

The Jiyue 01 Robocar has three trim levels with 3 different claimed ranges. The base single motor RWD   has an 71.4kWh LFP pack with a claimed 550kms. You can opt for this super long range trim with the same single rwd motor, as the name suggests it has the longest claimed range at 720kms thanks to a 100kWh NCM pack. That same 100kWH NCM pack is found on the top performance trim, and claims a lower range of 660km. For all of the trims, fast charge times are the same. 10-80% in 30mins.

One quirky feature on the Jiyue 01 are four LEDs in the rocker panel. They show the state of charge, each light signifying 25%. Similar to a portable phone battery pack, I’ve never seen it before on an EV, and I can’t really figure out why you’d need it. The app and the app widget shows you state of charge to the exact percent, this just feels like a gimmick.


Driving Impressions

The Jiyue 01's super long-range rear-wheel-drive model achieves a 0-100 km/h dash in 6.9 seconds, placing it in the middle of the pack. The base rear-wheel-drive model is slightly slower at 7.2 seconds, while the performance version boasts a rapid 3.8-second acceleration time.

Both rear-wheel-drive models feature a 200-kilowatt motor with 343 Nm of torque. The performance model stands out with an additional motor on the front axle, doubling the power output to 400 kilowatts and 686 Nm, resulting in quicker acceleration.

All trims are equipped with a double wishbone front suspension and a multi-link independent rear suspension. While the base models use springs only, the ride in the super long-range version is well-dampened and comfortable. The top model, the performance model, comes with CDC (Continuous Damping Control), not included on our super-long range model.

On the road, the Jiyue 01 offers a steady drive with well-controlled body roll.   . The long-range single-motor model performed decently around corners, providing a comfortable and competent driving experience, although not overly sporty. Overall, the Jiyue 01 excels in comfort and road competence, but the yoke was a bit challenging to get used to, especially during maneuvers or tight turns, I was often clutching for the non-existent top of the wheel.

My advice, don’t opt for the yoke.



Regarding Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), the Jiyue 01 comes standard with cameras, radar, ultrasonic radars, and a feature called Robodrive, which includes lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control (ACC). To upgrade to the full ADAS system, called Robodrive Max, you'll need to pay $7,000, although a subscription also exists.

ADAS was a major focus for the Jiyue 01's development, with Baidu providing their Apollo Vision-only ADAS system. Apollo is responsible for Baidu's driverless Robotaxis, similar to Waymo in the US. Robodrive Max is currently the sole vision-only, non-lidar ADAS system offering City Navigation On Autopilot (NOA) in China. Other brands like Xpeng, NIO, Li Auto, and Huawei use lidar for their city ADAS, and Tesla's Full Self-Driving beta is not yet available in China.



In the fast-paced Chinese EV market, innovation and speed is crucial. What may be considered standout features today quickly become the norm tomorrow. The Jiyue 01, a collaboration between Geely and Baidu, seems to have been slightly slow off the starting blocks. However, with its impressive voice assistant and Baidu's promises of leading ADAS technology, I anticipate exciting developments from this joint venture in the future.

Login by:
My Profile
leave a message
back to the top