|Founded||2014; 7 years ago|
|He Xiaopeng (chairman)|
Brian Gu Hongdi (vice chairman)
Number of employees
|3,676 (June 2020)|
Xpeng or Xiaopeng Motors (Chinese: 小鹏汽车), also known as XMotors.ai, is a Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer. The company is headquartered in Guangzhou, with offices in Mountain View, California in the US and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
Xpeng was co-founded in 2014 by Henry Xia (Xia Heng) and He Tao, former senior executives at GAC Group with expertise in automotive technology and research and development. Initial backers included: the founder of UCWeb and former Alibaba executive He Xiaopeng, namesake and current Chairman of Xpeng, and Lei Jun, the founder of Xiaomi. Prominent Chinese and international investors included Alibaba, Foxconn and IDG Capital. A further funding round in 2018 saw Alibabas vice president Joseph Tsai join the corporate board of Xpeng.
Xpengs subsidiary in the United States, XMotors.ai held a permit for testing self-driving cars from the California Department of Motor Vehicles starting in September 2018. The permit was revoked in February 2020 due to Xpengs failure to submit a disengagement report. Xpeng Motors then received a renewed Autonomous Vehicles Testing Permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles in March 2020.
In November 2019, Xpeng raised USD$400 million in a third fundraising round, which saw Xiaomi join as a strategic investor of Xpeng. In July 2020, Xpeng raised $500 million from a group of investors including Aspex, Coatue, Hillhouse Capital and Sequoia Capital China. In August 2020, Xpeng raised an additional $400 million from a group of investors including Alibaba, Qatar Investment Authority and Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund Mubadala. On August 27, 2020, Xpeng raised $1.5 billion with an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, where its shares climbed more than 40% on the first day of trading. In March 2021, the company received a $76.9 million funding from Guangdong Yuecai Investment Holdings Co.
In the third quarter of 2021, revenue for Xpeng rose over 500% compared to the year before. It had also increased its R&D team by about a third since the year before.
In 2021, for the first time, Xpeng started exporting its flagship P7 sedan. Its first international market was Norway, starting in August. Also in August, the companys P5 electric car became able to read traffic lights.
As of May 2021, 23% of Xpeng shares are owned by He Xiaopeng, and 12% by Alibaba Group.
Xpeng uses a combination of Lidar, radar, and a camera for driver aid. The lidar system uses laser light to create a 3D space by measuring the distance between objects and the time it takes for the light to bounce back. Xinzhou Wu stated Lidar will provide the 3D drivable space and precise depth estimation to small moving obstacles even like kids and pets, and obviously, other pedestrians and the motorbikes which are a nightmare for anybody who’s working on driving, The radar will provide the vehicles with the ability to detect the speed of an object and also the location. The camera will provide the vehicle with basic semantic information as stated by Xinzhou Wu. Lidar has come down in price significantly over the last few years with drone companies such as DJI announcing the integration in their aerial surveying technology. The Zenmuse L1 - Lidar + RGB camera starts at a price of 13,100$ Xpengs Lidar system is provided by Livox. The decreasing price and increased innovation and development in Lidar is making it cheaper for consumers to enjoy. Our next vehicle is targeting the economy class. I would say it’s mid-range in terms of price,”
Xpengs batteries are developed by Chinas largest battery developer under the name of Contemporary Amperex Technology or CATL. CATL currently also supplies NIO with its batteries. As of last year in July Honda has also made a partnership with CATL
CATL places as number 2 in the global market for EV battery production, behind LG Energy Solution LG and CATL both have sustainability goals, with the closed loop system being of high importance. The closed loop system allows used batteries to be re-used and or mined for the materials to be included in the new batteries being produced. The recycler extracts around 4,500 tons a year of manganese, nickel, and cobalt compounds from used lithium batteries which are used to produce ternary lithium batteries. The global demand for EVs is increasing and accompanying that is an increase of demand for the materials that make up the battery. The supply of used batteries will also further accompany the adoption of more EV cars. Recycling used batteries allows the re use of critical battery materials and also slim down the impact of their disposal.
Xpeng has moved away from CTP batteries to LFP batteries. The move to LFP has been also adopted by Tesla. LFP removes the need for cobalt in a battery, one of the most expensive materials in a battery. However LFP batteries do reduce the range of the vehicle. Xpeng announces they were launching new versions of the P7 sedan and G3 SUV with LFP batteries. The new versions with lithium iron phosphate cells will be available for the rear-wheel-drive P7 sports sedan first, effectively driving down the 700 km long-range to 480 kilometres. LFP batteries however do provide longer life cycles and are generally safer.
Xpeng offers free lifetime charging similar to what Tesla has offered their customers around the world. Xpengs charging network has expanded to over 1,000 stations within China, and customers have access to another 200,000 third party charging stations positioned in major cities.
China is expanding its EV production at a rapid rate and sees 8 millions EV cars being produced in China by the year 2028. China has publicly encouraged its population to buy EV cars when 800,000 public charging stations were constructed. Beijing is pushing hard for EVs and plans for a fifth of all cars bought in China to be electric by 2025.
Xpeng has two factories, one in Zhaoqing and the other being built in Guangzhou. The Zhaoqing factory has an annual production capacity of 100,000 vehicles. Xpeng has only sold 50,000 vehicles since its first offering. The new Guangzhou factories construction was started in September 2020. Annual production of the Guangzhou factory has yet to be started but Xpeng staff has said XPengs new Smart EV Manufacturing Base in Guangzhou will significantly expand the Companys production capacity and accelerate XPengs momentum to achieve its goals in innovation, technological advancement and growth. A third factory has also been acquired, this factory will reside in Wuhan which will produce another 100,000 vehicles annually. The factories construction has not been started but has support from the Government of Wuhan. The factory is stated to be an important location for Xpeng as it will enhance Xpengs distribution. Chairman and CEO He said Wuhans strategic location as an auto manufacturing and distribution hub will further enhance our supply chain management, sales and distribution network in the future.
China is the largest market for automotive sales accounting for 30% of the worlds vehicle sales in 2020. Between 2009 and 2012 China identified the electric EV market as the quickest and easiest way for entering the auto industry market. Between 2009 and 2016 the Chinese Central Government has spent an estimated 12.6 billion yen or (1.9 billion) on subsidies for new energy vehicles.
Between 2013 and 2017 China witnessed the worst air pollution is has ever seen. China initiated a very effective policy of cutting its vehicle registration lottery from 250,000 to 150,000 and allotting 20,000 of those slots to new energy vehicles. This stimulated the electric vehicle market of China and pushed people to look into new energy vehicles over fossil fuel vehicles. In 2015 Beijing issued a red alert on air quality and required conventional vehicles to operate on alternating days whilst electric and new energy vehicles could operate every day. Chinas EV market exploded from 18,000 vehicles in 2013 to 330,000 vehicles sold in China in the year of 2015. In 2018 more than 1 million electric vehicles were produced in China.
The global auto industry has witnessed impressive growth from Chinese start ups like Xpeng, Nio and Li in the local Chinese market for EVs. The global auto industry is now witnessing and experiencing competition with these non-state owned Chinese start ups. China has gained an increase in desire for SUVs. While Xpeng, Nio and Li fall behind in sub-compact and small cars to foreign brands like Tesla and Mercedes, Domestic brands now account for 56% of the electric SUV market. Xpengs sales have gone from 630 EV sales in January 2020 to 6,015 EV sales in January of 2021.
Europe is currently the second largest EV market accounting for 28% of the global market. Chinas EV exports lag behind that of the US and Europes EV companies. In late December 2020 Xpeng stated it would be delivering the G3 SUV to Norway. Our launch in Europe comes just as consumers are shifting in increasingly large numbers to more sustainable personal transport, and at a tipping point where governments around the world are stepping up their zero-emission efforts, said He. Xpeng has also decided that it would be selling its P7 EV sedan to the European market this year.
As of 2021 Xpeng has sold 211 G3 SUVs in Norway. Xpeng stated it will be tough to break into the European auto market but with policies in Europe further encouraging the purchase of EV cars, Xpeng will seek to find those consumers. Without at infrastructure to build Xpeng vehicles it will also add to the challenge of breaking into the European auto market. Start up Nio also plans on entering the European auto market for 2021.
The European market will be a key market for EVs in the future as EV sales have doubled in Europe from 2019 to 2020.
Xpeng, Nio and Li have not announced any plans to enter the US market. BYD has started selling electric cars and buses to Chile. Chile plans on having a completely electric public transportation by the year of 2040. Chiles capital Santiago suffers from stagnant air pollution much like Beijing and has adapted similar policies of China to push people to buy EVs with subsidies.
On July 7, 2021, XPeng debuted on the stock exchange in Hong Kong. The choice to bring the company to the exchange before a second listing could result in the company taking a better position in the citys share indexes. As a dual-primary listing, XPeng will be eligible for Stock Connect, an investment channel facilitating trade between Hong Kong and mainland China. With its listing in Hong Kong, XPeng became the first US-listed Chinese firm with dual primary listing. The move will as well provide some security for the company in the event of being kicked off the U.S. market.
Battery production also accounts for a 36% decrease in C02 emission advantage over conventional cars. 0.93 to 3.47 extra tons of C02e are emitted in the production of an EV car over a conventional gas or diesel powered car. China can reduce its GHG emissions in the transportation sector by 6.3% by 2030 if battery recycling and energy grid renewable energy is implemented.
GHG emissions will decrease in provinces further south in China as the electrical grid is supplied more by hydro-energy, where as the north may experience greater GHG emissions as coal fired plants supply much of the energy for the grid.
The lithium cathode market is expected to grow to 58 billion by 2024 from just 7 billion in 2018. Lithium mining requires water, for every ton of lithium about 2 million litres of water is needed.
In March 2019, Tesla sued Cao Guangzhi, a former Tesla employee, accusing him of stealing its Autopilot source code and bringing them to Xpeng. Cao rejected the accusation of IP theft, but later stated he had uploaded Teslas source code to his iCloud account prior to leaving Tesla. In response to Teslas accusations, Xpeng launched an internal investigation and said it “by no means caused or attempted to cause Mr. Cao to misappropriate trade secrets, confidential and proprietary information of Tesla, whether such allegations by Tesla being true or not,” and said it “was not aware of any alleged misconduct by Mr. Cao.”
In November 2020, Xpeng agreed to provide a copy of its source code to a neutral 3rd party to compare to Teslas to prove nothing was copied. Neither Xpeng or any subsidiaries were parties to Teslas original lawsuit. The court-appointed neutral 3rd party concluded that Xpengs Code did not use Teslas IP after comparing both source codes as provided by the companies. Tesla and Cao moved to settle soon after this was established.
- New energy vehicles in China
- BYD Auto
- LFP battery
- Li Auto
- NIO (car company)
- Tesla, Inc.
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