China's Tesla Rival XPeng Unveils its New ‘S4' 480kW Electric Vehicle Supercharger That Can Add 125 Miles of Range in Just 5 Minutes

China's Tesla Rival XPeng Unveils its New ‘S4' 480kW Electric Vehicle Supercharger That Can Add 125 Miles of Range in Just 5 Minutes

Author: Eric Walz   

One of the biggest barriers to widespread electric vehicle adoption is the lack of convenient charging locations and EVs that take too long to recharge. However, the rollout of new more powerful EV chargers and battery-powered vehicles being built with 800-volt architectures can reduce charging times to 15 minutes or less.

Rather than relying on public EV charging infrastructure. Some electric carmakers, including Tesla and XPeng Inc, are building their own proprietary chargers that offer ultra-fast charging times. Xpeng just revealed its latest S4 EV charger at an event dubbed "Supercharging Media Day" in Guangzhou, China on Wednesday. 

The first XPeng S4 supercharging station was unveiled at the Sunac Mall in Guangzhou, where a charging demonstration was also conducted using the XPENG G9, the company's new flagship SUV. The first customer deliveries of the XPeng G9 electric SUV are slated to begin in September.   

The S4 charger was able to add 200 km of range to the G9 in just 5 minutes The S4 supercharger can deliver a maximum power output of 480 kW and a maximum current output of 670 A, setting the highest standard in the charging industry.

XPeng plans to deploy the new S4 supercharging stations across 10 major cities in China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen later this year. XPeng says that more supercharging sites will be opened in other cities and major highways during 2023. 

By 2025, XPENG aims to open an additional 2,000 supercharging stations across China.

Along with its more powerful EV charging technology, Xpeng also outlined its plans to create an extensive charging network for its customers in China as the EV adoption rate in the country climbs.

"We anticipate that the sales of BEV priced at over 200,000 RMB will surge with the rapid development of a supercharging network," Xiaopeng He, Chairman and CEO of XPeng.

Mr. He predicts that zero emissions fully-electric vehicles will replace hybrid models as the range of new models improves and more EV are on the market that can support more powerful EV charging rates. These more efficient electric models will also lessen the reliance on EV charging infrastructure.

The majority of hybrid EV models in the Chinese market offer an average driving range of roughly 50 km to 250 km based on the China light-duty vehicle test cycle (CLTC). However, most A-class or higher fully-electric models offer driving ranges of about 450 km (280 miles). Xpeng's research shows that 90% of drivers in China travel less than 300 km per week, so owners will only need to charge their cars once a week even when using them every day.

"There is a long-lasting debate in our industry regarding the advantages of fully electric EVs (BEV) versus those of hybrid EVs (PHEV), and we're firmly on the side of the former," said Mr. He at the company's Supercharging Media Day. "As we all look to create a smarter and greener planet, we must choose a long-term commitment to sustainability over short-term returns. This means investing in fully electric EVs and charging technology." 

xpeng charging interface.png

XPeng's charging interface makes its easier for drivers to locate and manage an EV charging session.

XPeng Opens its 1,000th EV Charging Location

XPeng also announced the unveiling of its 1000th charging location during the media event on Wednesday, marking a significant milestone in the expansion of its charging network. XPeng's charging network now covers 337 cities across China and has provided nearly three million charging sessions to XPeng's EV. Of these charging sessions, approximately 470,000 were made using a reservation, significantly reducing the queuing time for drivers looking to charge their vehicles.

XPeng enhanced the charging experience for its customers by providing various intelligent features via the XPeng mobile APP, such as smart recommendations, charging reservations, plug and charge, and voice control.

Among the new features is Parking Navigation Guided Pilot (PNGP). The PNGP will be able to locate the nearest XPeng charging station and help drivers autonomously navigate to it. The G9 features the latest version of the automaker's advanced driver assistance system called "XPILOT 4.0", which offers advanced autonomous driving capabilities.

XPeng's highway charging network now covers over 3,500 km (2175 miles), with charging sites at major exits along the Beijing-Shanghai Expressway and Beijing-Hong Kong-Macau Expressway. The company says its comprehensive charging network provides owners flexibility and convenience while alleviating range anxiety.

Eric Walz
Eric Walz
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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