Xpeng to launch new affordable EV brand

Xpeng says it will be the first to combine affordability with high-level technological capability

Xpeng to launch new affordable EV brand
Xpeng is targeting young, tech-savvy customers

Chinese OEM Xpeng will launch a new mass market electric "AI-defined car" brand next month, with deliveries expected to begin in Q3 of this year.

The automaker currently targets the mid-to-premium segment, with the majority of its base trim models priced above RMB 200,000 ($28,000). These prices put Xpeng's models significantly above the crowded Chinese market for cheap mass-volume EVs.

"We are officially launching a new brand targeting the RMB 100,000 to RMB 150,000 price range during the Beijing Auto Show next month," Xpeng CEO He Xiaopeng told analysts on the company's Q4 call.

The CEO also teased the brand announcement at the Electric Vehicle 100 Summit held in Beijing on March 16.

While the affordable mass market EV segment is well served in the Chinese market, Xpeng is looking to combine affordability and mass appeal with superior AI and software functions – notably ADAS software.

"The market of the RMB 100,000 to RMB 150,000 ($14,000-$21,000) price range has huge market potential, but it is extremely difficult to provide great products with all round competitiveness – including high level ADAS – in this price range," He Xiaopeng says.

On the call, the company also boasted of having "the first mass produced automotive artificial intelligence and automotive cognitive engine" in the China automobile industry.

But transposing the software from into the mass-market segment may present challenges and cost pressures.

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Xpeng believes that if it can succeed in doing so, it can dispel the common complaint that Chinese EVs, while undercutting Western-made rivals on price, cannot compete on quality or technology.

The company also says it can achieve significant market share amongst younger customers with its new brand position.

"Our new brand is committed to building the first AI powered smart car for the young generation. This brand will be a new species of innovation," says He Xiaopeng. "We are confident that it will be the most striking and sought after A Class BEV model in this segment."

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