It’s my pleasure to have the chance to interview one of the first owners of the Ideal L7. For the owners who received the first batch of delivery in Shanghai, I have prepared many questions.
Why did Ideal users choose the first five-seater Ideal car?
What are the reasons for choosing the Ideal L7 with a blue plate limit of 100,000 yuan?
Why did you choose the Pro version?
Generally, most people choose the Max version because it has a rear entertainment screen. If you don’t choose it, you will lose the soul of the Ideal L Series. However, the laser radar is bound to it.
Because my child is young, I don’t want him to be exposed to the rear screen too early and develop bad habits. In addition, looking at the rear screen during driving can be a bit dizzy.
Some people only want the rear screen without the laser radar, but I am opposite. I actually care more about the laser radar. If there is a version with the laser radar, but without the rear entertainment screen, that would be great.
Why did you choose Ideal?
I had a BMW 3 Series before, which was a sedan and didn’t have enough space. Then I bought a Tesla Model 3. So now I need an SUV with more space and longer range.
First of all, in terms of energy, because I already have an electric car, I still need a car that can burn fuel and go further. The well-equipped traditional fuel cars in China are likely to cost over 500,000 yuan, and the joint venture brands priced around 300,000 yuan are not really suitable. When Chinese car companies are struggling, products like the Toyota Highlander clearly have better product strength, cost-effectiveness, and other aspects.
The Ideal L7 can meet my two pain points:
First, I can drive further on a single charge, far beyond Tesla’s 400 km range.
Second, when taking children out, the space is no longer crowded. The rear seats of a Tesla are not very comfortable for people to sit on, and it gets even more crowded when a child safety seat is installed. With Ideal, not only is the seating space spacious, but there is also enough space for things like strollers in the back.Because our baby is very young, when we use the car, my wife sits in the back seat to accompany the baby.
The point that impressed us the most at the time should still be the spaciousness of the interior of the car. If we, as a family, bring the baby along, the interior space of the car can meet all our travel needs. The other small points can only be considered the icing on the cake. With a normal sitting posture in the front row, the rear row and the trunk are still in a very spacious state, unlike the L8, which requires me to sacrifice two rows of seats to obtain a large trunk space.
What do you think of battery swapping?
I think battery swapping is a supplementary energy solution, but it cannot really solve my anxiety.
For example, if I want to go to a place 500 kilometers away, I actually don’t have that much confidence in whether the battery swapping stations along the way can meet my needs. Although their number and density are constantly improving, they are not deployed at every service area on the expressway. More traditional fuel forms are somewhat reassuring.
Like the Xpeng G9, it has an 800V high-voltage fast charging supplement method, but the same problem exists. Currently, V4 fast charging stations with 800V might be less common than battery swapping stations. I don’t think it can solve the problem completely.
For short trips, I basically just drive a Tesla, which can actually travel more than 400 kilometers. In the Jiangsu and Zhejiang areas, single trips are basically around 300 kilometers, or even a little more than 300 kilometers, so there is no need to charge the car because you know that it can definitely make it.
Why didn’t you consider the L8 and L9?
Because for me, the usage scenario of the 6-seater is very rare. Basically, more than 90% of my use scenarios involve 3-4 people, and 5 people are very rare.
Moreover, the scenario with 5 people is basically in the city, such as going out for a meal. It’s okay to squeeze in for a short time with 5 people. For long-distance travel, there are seldom more than 4 people.## What other car models did you compare at that time?
I did not compare with any other car models. If I had to choose one, initially I actually preferred the Ideal L6.
Because at first we felt that the L7 was a bit too large, and if my wife drove it, it might be more difficult. But later we test drove it and found it was not as difficult to drive as we imagined, right?
The most important thing is that the L6 will not be released until the end of the year, and it will not be delivered until next year. Hybrid vehicle models in Shanghai require the use of license plate quotas, but fortunately we have plenty of quotas, and the company can also buy cars. So there is no big problem.
As you just mentioned, if you want to buy a fuel car that you like, it may also cost 500,000, so adding 100,000 to 30,000 to get a license plate is actually in line with our initial expectations.
How did you choose the configuration?
I chose a gray exterior color and a black interior color. Actually, my favorite interior color is white, but my Tesla is also white and it is easy to get dirty. Black is relatively safer, and I don’t think it’s that flashy. It is a reliable choice.
Actually, my favorite exterior color is blue, but the film I pasted on my own Tesla is already blue, so I chose a gray color. Maybe I will apply a color-changing film later to personalize it, and the cost is not high. The freedom of choice will be much greater.
There is no need to choose an expensive color in advance, and then spend money on film when you want to change the color later. It’s better to save money from the beginning.
From our family’s perspective, electric pedals seem to be of little significance because our child is very young and cannot climb on his own, and there is no strong demand for it.
The reason why I did not choose the Air version at that time was mainly because I wanted to pick up the car earlier. The Air version will not be delivered until April. Another reason is that I have driven the suspended version myself, so I am more confident in it.
Will the Ideal L7 and BMW X5 be rivals?
In my opinion, the Ideal L7 is a product that can deliver over 80% of the performance of the BMW X5 at only 50% of the price. It still has the advantage of cost-effectiveness, and its intelligence and other aspects will be even better.
Of course, the X5 is also a good car. From the perspective of the chassis, the X5 can achieve both comfort and sportiness, while the L7 may do better in terms of comfort but give up on sportiness.
But I think this is a pretty smart product strategy, because there are many pure electric cars that also want to achieve both, but in the end may not do either side well.
The Ideal L7 at least does well what it wants to do well, and I think it is a pretty smart product strategy.
As my first hybrid car, I will take a good look at the daily use of the hybrid car. If there is only one car in the family, a hybrid is still more reliable than a pure electric car at this stage. With the strong product positioning and definition ability of the Ideal, the L7 may exceed my expectations.
This article is a translation by ChatGPT of a Chinese report from 42HOW. If you have any questions about it, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.