Xpeng lands in Germany ahead of UK launch later this year

3 weeks, 2 days ago - 01. April 2024, autocar
Xpeng lands in Germany ahead of UK launch later this year
Chinese EV maker gears up for wider European expansion, including into right-hand-drive markets

Chinese electric car maker Xpeng has launched in Germany, beginning a European expansion strategy that will take it into France, Italy and the UK by the end of this year.

Xpeng will begin selling the G9 SUV and P7 saloon in Germany from May, although it doesn't plan to bring the duo to the UK. British buyers will instead be offered the G6 crossover in right-hand-drive form.

The 4753mm-long G6 sits on Xpeng’s new SEPA 2.0 platform, which integrates technology such as an 800V electrical architecture that allows for DC rapid-charging at rates of up to 480kW. 

In China, The Tesla Model Y rival is priced from ¥209,900 (£22,900) in single-motor, rear-wheel-drive form. The more powerful dual-motor, four-wheel-drive model starts at ¥276,900 (£30,200).

UK prices are expected to be significantly higher, however, after factors such as import duty, homologation and logistics are taken into account.

Battery choices are a 66kWh lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) and a 87.5kWh lithium ion pack, which give 360 and 469 miles of range respectively on the Chinese CLTC test. This is normally more generous than the WLTP test used for the UK market.

“It comes down to economics,” said Xpeng president Brian Gu of the decision to restricted right-hand-drive development to new models. “We don’t want to go back to old models; we want the latest technology.”

Gu said other models on the SEPA platform would be developed with right-hand-drive to enable Xpeng to target the UK and other RHD markets. 

The company so far has stuck to the more traditional sales of model of signing up dealer groups, rather than selling to customers directly. The same approach will likely apply to the UK as well. 

Xpeng is one of crop of a new EV makers in China that has adopted the Tesla model of building digital-focused EVs with high levels of propriety technology.

The company hit global headlines in July when Volkswagen Group announced it had taken a 5% stake for around $700 million (£540m).

Xpeng will make available to the German giant the older platform underpinning the G9 SUV so that the Volkswagen brand can sell two larger EVs in China from 2026.

The agreement will help Volkswagen to expand its EV line-up in China to complement its current line-up of ID models, which are based on the Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform.

The link-up immediately addresses Volkswagen's tech shortfall by providing 800V electricals, quicker connectivity, a smarter software package and sophisticated driver-assistance systems. 

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