Tesla Rival Xpeng Sets Up Auto Parts Manufacturing Company That Will Include EV Battery Production
After a record fourth quarter to close out 2020, Chinese electric vehicle startup Xpeng is busy planning for 2021.
Xpeng subsidiary Guangzhou Chengxing Zhidong Motors Technology Co.,Ltd. (Chengxing Zhidong) has set up an auto parts manufacturing company last week, which may eventually allow the startup automaker to keep more of its vehicle component manufacturing in-house, Chinese news outlet Gasgoo reports.
The new company was formed on Jan. 14 in Guangzhou with a registered capital of 50 million yuan ($7.7 million) and is 99% controlled by Xpeng, according to data platform Tianyancha.
The company has nine subsidiaries, five of which are wholly-owned by Xpeng, according to Gasgoo.
Xia Heng, co-founder and president of Xpeng Motors will serve as the legal representative of the new subsidiary.
The business will include EV battery production, R&D, manufacturing, retail and wholesale sales of automotive parts, manufacturing of electrical & electronic parts for intelligent in-car features, as well as the sale of New Energy Vehicle (NEV) battery swapping facilities, indicating that Xpeng might offer EV battery swapping services in the future.
Xpeng's domestic rival NIO Inc. also offers battery swapping services for owners, which can replace an EV's battery pack in minutes with a fully charged one. The battery swapping service is designed to eliminate long charging times.
Xpeng is Experiencing Growing Sales in China
Xpeng's monthly deliveries hit a record high of 5,700 units in December 2020 and included 3,691 P7 Smart Sedans and 2,009 units of its fully-electric G3 SUV. The company's first vehicle was the G3 SUV, which officially launched on Dec 12, 2018.
The P7 is Xpeng's second fully-electric model. Deliveries began in June 2020.
The P7 achieves an NEDC Range of 439 Miles, the longest range of all EVs sold in China, according to the company.
In the fourth quarter of 2020, Xpeng delivered a total of 12,964 EVs, a 30% increase over Q3, which was its first quarter as a publicly traded company. Total deliveries in 2020 reached 27,041 units, a 112% year on year increase. Cumulative deliveries of the P7 reached 15,062 units since last June.
On Dec. 31, 2020, Xpeng announced a collaboration with lidar developer Livox to deploy its automotive-grade lidar technology for Xpeng's new production model in 2021. Livox is Xpeng's first partner in the lidar field, the company said.
Lidar is an important sensor for autonomous capable vehicles, acting as an extra set of eyes on the road ahead. Xpeng offers an autonomous driving feature called XPILOT that uses lidar, radar and cameras to navigate.
Last week, Xpeng announced the latest version called XPILOT 3.0 would be available as early as February via an OTA vehicle software update. The company also unveiled a beta version of its latest autonomous driving feature called Navigation Guided Pilot (NGP), which is similar to Tesla's Autopilot and its Full Self-Driving feature.
Xpeng's automated highway driving feature allows a driver to simply enter a destination and the company's P7 Smart Sedan will be able to navigate to it without human intervention in most cases. Xpeng considers it to be a level 3 autonomous system.
The smart system follows the route guidance while executing autonomous lane changes, switching to high-speed routes, and selecting the optimal route in real-time, the company said.
Earlier this month, Xpeng announced it secured a $2 billion (12.8 billion yuan) line of credit from five Chinese banks. The company will use the funds to expand its operations as it looks to take on Tesla in its home country.
Xpeng launched its U.S. IPO in August, 2020. The company's shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the stock symbol "XPEV."
The company is considered to be a strong rival to Tesla in China, offering the same level of technology for around half the price of a Tesla vehicle in China.
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