LeSee is the newest all-electric car, unveiled by Chinese firm LeEco

LeEco LeSee

Stop if you have heard this one before. A company known primarily for its phones is branching out into the automotive industry.

But it’s not California-based Apple. It’s a Chinese firm called LeEco and it just introduced a prototype of what it says is a fully electric and autonomous vehicle called LeSee.

The vehicle was unveiled on Wednesday and LeEco is aiming to take on Tesla’s Model S.

In fact the design, at least from the side and rear, is very Tesla-esque.

“When everyone is questioning us over our ability to develop a car like this and is laughing at us, we are still able to be here and show you this car… I am so emotional,” said Jia Yueting, co-founder and head of LeEco, during a launch event in Beijing.

The LeSee will be on display at the Beijing auto show next week and the company says it is designed to be a “smart,” “connected” and “automated self-driving” car.

In fact, Jia was able to control the LeSee, including a self-parking demonstration, using voice commands into his smartphone.

When in autonomous driving mode, the steering wheel retracts out of sight, and the interior features several large display screens for streaming entertainment to passengers.

The car was also described as “self-learning,” though few details of what that meant were made available.

How much might a production model of the LeSee cost? Well, according to Jia Yueting, it may one day be available for free.

“Our cars’ pricing model will be similar to pricing models for cellphones and TV sets we sell today.  One day our cars will be free.”

This isn’t the first foray into electric vehicles for LeEco. Earlier this year, the company announced an investment in Faraday Future and Aston Martin. The British carmaker is developing an all-electric takeoff of the Rapide S, while Faraday Future has developed electric car platforms.

The steering wheel of the LeSee is retracted during when in autonomous mode.

The steering wheel of the LeSee is retracted during when in autonomous mode.

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