Xpeng Motors launches P5 Lidar electric car to rival Tesla in China


Xpeng Motors launches the P5 sedan at an occasion in Guangzhou, China on April 14, 2021. The P5 is Xpeng’s third manufacturing mannequin and options so-called Lidar expertise.

Arjun Kharpal | CNBC

GUANGZHOU, China — Chinese electric automobile maker Xpeng Motors launched the P5 on Wednesday, a sedan with new self-driving options, because it appears to be like to race forward in China’s ultra-competitive auto market.

The P5, Xpeng’s third manufacturing mannequin and second sedan after the P7, provides one other competitor to Tesla’s Model 3 in China’s more and more crowded area of electric car-makers.

The Chinese agency, a rival to home gamers Nio and Li Auto, stated it is going to launch its pricing on the Shanghai Auto Show on Apr. 19.

But in an interview with CNBC on Wednesday, Xinzhou Wu, vp in cost of autonomous driving at Xpeng, stated the P5 can be priced decrease than the P7.

“At this price range with the features we put in the car, I think it will be quite compelling for our customers,” he stated.

The P7 begins from 229,900 yuan ($35,192) after subsidies. In comparability, Tesla’s Model 3 in China begins at 249,900 yuan.

Wu stated the P5 would roll out to clients in China in the third or fourth quarter of this 12 months. Xpeng has additionally expanded into Norway, its first worldwide market. Wu stated that the corporate will increase its footprint in northern Europe and the P5 would finally be launched there. He gave no timelines on when this may occur.

Driverless tech

Xpeng has tried to push the development of its self-driving options to differentiate from its rivals.

The P5 is provided with so-called Lidar, or Light Detection and Ranging expertise. Lidar programs ship out lasers that bounce again and might measure distance. Those returning beams are processed by an algorithm to create a 3 dimensional illustration of surrounding objects — a key expertise for autonomous autos to perceive their surroundings.

Xpeng claims that Lidar may help the P5 distinguish pedestrians, cyclists and scooters in addition to street works — even at night time and underneath low-light circumstances.

On Wednesday, the Chinese automobile maker additionally launched a brand new model of XPILOT, its so-called superior driver-assistance system (ADAS). This refers to a system with some autonomous options however the place a driver continues to be required.

XPILOT 3.5 may have an up to date model of a feature called Navigation Guided Pilot or NGP, which permits customers to autonomously do duties corresponding to altering lanes or overtaking automobiles. Some of those options will work on metropolis roads for the primary time. Previously, NGP was simply designed for highways.

Xpeng’s XPILOT is an try to compete with Tesla’s personal ADAS system referred to as Autopilot in addition to different rivals like Nio with its Nio Pilot.

“In P7 we launched NGP … only on highways. But highway driving only occupies like 10% of peoples’ driving time. Being able to bring the technology and the capability to cities is very important to make the feature more usable and more compelling to Chinese customers,” Wu stated.

In the town, Wu stated the state of affairs was turning into “exponentially” harder, citing challenges in making certain the car can acknowledge objects in its path precisely and reliably. “We believe with Lidar … it will help us achieve our goal much faster and gives us an edge against our competitors.”

Competition heating up

China’s electric car market is predicted to decide up this 12 months with 1.9 million models anticipated to be bought, rising 51% year-on-year, in accordance analysis agency Canalys.

Various incentives from the federal government, corresponding to subsidies, have helped China turn into the most important electric car market in the world. With that, plenty of start-ups have grown quickly corresponding to Xpeng, Nio and Li Auto.

But these gamers are competing towards conventional automakers who’re boosting their electric automobile capabilities in addition to different expertise corporations getting into into the fray.

Chinese search large Baidu teamed up with Geely to create a standalone electric car company, whereas smartphone large Xiaomi introduced plans to launch an electric car business.

Last year, Xpeng delivered 27,041 vehicles, greater than doubling from 2019. In comparability, Tesla’s Model 3 alone bought greater than 137,000 models in 2020 in China.

Wu stated Xpeng has developed lots of expertise which he believes offers the corporate an edge.

“We are definitely a step, a few steps ahead, you know as compared to most of our competitors. So we are pretty confident that we can win this race even with more newcomers into this space,” Wu instructed CNBC.

“We believe that with this kind of focus on the Chinese market, Chinese customers, Chinese road conditions and also the different technologies we bring together to make the tech better fitted to China market, I think we do have an edge as compared to Tesla in the China market.”

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