I’ve recently written about all the awesome features of the new XPeng G9, but that was before it fully launched. It was only fully launched today and one of the biggest surprises for me is the low price. I was expecting it to cost more than $20,000! The entry-level price ranges from 309,900 RMB ($43,960) on the lower end to 469,900 RMB ($66,656).
I’ll come back to some of the great features I’ve written about before, as well as some new benefits, but I want to address the most important question first: How many units of the G9 will XPeng produce and sell? I was just on a reporter’s conference call with XPeng executives and asked a version of this question, not expecting a very specific or useful answer, but I got one. If all goes well with the production ramp-up and consumer demand, XPeng plans to sell 10,000 units of the G9 per month until sometime next year. That’s 120,000 a year.
That makes the G9 a remarkable electric vehicle. If you look at July sales in China (which accounts for about half of EV sales in the world), 10,000 registrations would make the G9 the 12th best-selling plug-in vehicle on the market. Personally, though, I can’t help but think the G9 has more potential demand. There’s no reason why it shouldn’t outperform the Volkswagen ID.4 or some of the other vehicles higher up on this list. It could also appeal to people in Europe, North America, Australia and elsewhere, but we’ve yet to see if XPeng or any other smart EV startup other than Tesla can make significant inroads into those markets outside of China. But will XPeng sell it abroad? Oh yes yes it will. “G9 was designed from the start for both the Chinese and international markets. The SUV was purposefully designed with an international perspective to meet C-NCAP and E-NCAP five-star safety standards, as well as stringent EU WVTA vehicle certification standards.” (No mention of US safety system. tear.)
Okay, let’s take a closer look at the SUV.
The G9 is the fastest-charging production EV passenger car in the world thanks to its 800V architecture and XPeng, which pushes such a platform to new heights. It can increase range by 200 kilometers (124 miles) in just 5 minutes and charge from 10 to 80% in 15 minutes.
There are 3 series of the G9, each with a different maximum range and a total of 6 different configurations. You can pick your mix of range, power, air suspension (or not), and 4WD versus RWD.
The G9 offers a unique range of entertainment. It includes Xopera, which can include an “immersive 5D experience”. At first glance, 5D didn’t make much sense to me, but in reality it maximizes the senses by providing a special experience while watching movies or TV series, listening to music or just because. The Xopera 5D experience includes “seat vibrations, changes in ambient lighting, adjustable climate control, and customized scents when you’re watching a movie, listening to music, or just relaxing.”
The G9 also includes what XPeng calls the most advanced driver assistance suite on the market. “We believe it will become the new benchmark for intelligent electric vehicles and the final step before realizing truly autonomous vehicles,” said He Xiaopeng, CEO and chairman of XPeng, during the online launch event of G9. The G9 is equipped with XNGP, the “industry’s first full-scenario driver assistance”. I recently did a 1 hour 7 minute virtual test drive in an XPeng vehicle using CNGP, the precursor to XNGP that just launched in select XPeng vehicles on Monday, and was amazed at how well it responds to everything whatever is thrown with it on the road and continues to drive smoothly and naturally, like a human who drives brilliantly. You can watch the driving experience here:
You can also see how XPeng CEO He Xiaopeng experienced City NGP a few months ago here:
Here’s more about the hardware used for XNGP: “The X version of G9 uses two NVIDIA DRIVE Orin chips that deliver 508 TOPS (trillion operations per second) of processing power. The G9 uses 31 sensors and a front view camera for advanced object detection – its front-mounted dual LiDAR sensors cover 180º, reducing the size of blind spots.”
Some of our readers asked about XPeng’s CNGP geofencing in response to my last article about it, so I asked XPeng executives about it on today’s conference call. While CNGP relies on high definition maps and will therefore roll out city by city once those maps are approved, XPeng notes that XNGP will no longer rely on these HD maps to drive from point A to point B in a given city — ultimately. (Right now, CNGP is only available in Guangzhou. Based on an answer to my question today, CNGP can drive pretty much anywhere within Guangzhou that it’s legal.) The plan is that in about a year, XNGP will be unavailable Rely on high-resolution maps. It will continue to use them where they are as they add an extra layer of information and support, but they are no longer needed. In my eyes this reaches a serious level 3 or level 4 autonomous driving area if the system is good enough!
Here’s a bit more about the G9’s semi-autonomous driver assistance features: “XPENG’s first-generation ADAS, XPILOT, comes standard on the e-version of the G9. Technological advances and algorithmic iterations combined with increased processing power boost the performance of XPILOT’s existing ADAS capabilities, which include ACC, LCC, VPA (Valet Parking Assist) and Highway NGP (Navigation Guided Pilot).
“With the new hardware and software architecture powered by closed-loop data, XPENG has developed an enhanced active safety feature Advanced Emergency Braking (AEB) for the E and X versions of G9.”
G9 deliveries begin in October. More details about the vehicle can be found in the press release or on the XPeng G9 website.
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