American investors are looking for to build a portfolio of electric vehicles are not exactly spoiled for choice. Aside from Tesla, many companies didn’t make cars, or if they did, they did it in such small numbers that it’s hard to gauge their true potential. Interestingly, though, if you want to narrow down your choices to companies that make over 100,000 vehicles a year, you’ll be reduced to three US-registered Chinese manufacturers.
Nio probably the most famous of the three, and it has its own set of fans who are almost as militant as some of Tesla’s backers. Nio’s main party trick is battery swapping, and it’s got a lot of publicity. world expansion plans which will see its vehicles in 25 markets, including most of Europe and the US, by the end of 2025.
XPeng, like Nio, is already on sale in Europe. XPeng got there first. And unlike the third member of the triumvirate, Lee Auto, is a much better known organization outside of China. However, XPeng aims to position itself on the technology side.
Although XPeng has not been as open about its expansion plans as Nio, the company is gradually expanding its presence in Europe: the brand is currently sold in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands, and the latest model, XPeng G9, very much about this extension. The company claims that this is the first model designed as a world car.
Indeed, XPeng only started selling cars in 2018 with the small crossover G3. This was followed by the release of the P7 sports sedan in 2020, which is the company’s best-selling model to date. These two models are now available in both Europe and China. In 2021, the brand launched R5a fairly large “compact” sedan that was the first model with lidar and is only available in China.
Earlier XPeng models were similar to mass-produced electric Volkswagens or Fords. While the technology may have been pushing into Tesla territory, the choice of materials was sound. This is where the G9 makes a difference: Not only is it the biggest and most expensive of this startup, but it appears to be maneuvering towards premium.