In China, electric vehicles with built-in fridges and even in-car karaoke systems are considered passe. Instead, carmakers are turning to increasingly novel add-ons from beds to cooktops to boost sluggish sales.

Top EV makers are facing a slowdown in demand at home as consumers curb spending, just as geopolitical tensions with major Western economies cloud the outlook for exports. Meanwhile for smaller players, the ability to think creatively is core to their survival, with the cutthroat industry bracing for a likely wave of consolidation as China looks to rein in the excesses left behind by years of generous subsidies.

The high-tech offerings also highlight the risk for Western manufacturers should they fall even further behind in carving out market share in the world’s biggest auto market. China-made vehicles are viewed by local customers as better suited to their extensive technology demands and preference for high levels of connectivity.