Chinese EVs Are Getting Weird

Carmakers are going the extra mile to stand out from the pack.

The Chinese EV market is a wild west of innovation. Well, maybe it's more like throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks in their own version of a lagging EV market. According to an article from Fortune, new EVs have some ambitious offerings, and this is in addition to the karaoke systems and built-in refrigerators already available.

Now, we've already seen BYD's U8, which, according to Top Gear, has a DiSus-P Intelligent Hydraulic Body Control System that allows the vehicle to drive on three wheels in the event of a blowout or flat. It also offers up to 30 minutes of "emergency floatation." These features seem rather standard, or at least somewhat functional, compared to others. For example, the U8, which costs about $153,000, can also deploy a drone from a case mounted to the roof, capturing real-time aerial videos of the trip. The drone docks and charges itself upon arrival and is controlled by the infotainment system.

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The Xpeng G9 SUV, which retails for a more modest $37,000, offers a sleeping kit that flattens the front and rear seats and inflates an air mattress. Some suggest it could be a camping alternative, but it will more likely help out stressed workers looking for a quick snooze. 

Finally, BYD has a new steering wheel that can be detached and used to play video games on the car's display. The driver uses the pedals as well, for gameplay, but automakers insist that the games only work when the car is stationary and the engine is off. 

As EV markets look to the Chinese market, they might have to get a little weird to stand out in an exotic landscape. For more, check out Fortune's article which also teases a car-mounted fishing system and an in-car plant-care system that harvests water from the roof and the car's cooling system

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