After a period of headwind, the two most popular Chinese EV makers, NIO and Xpeng, have finally gotten the hang of it. The companies are growing fast and hungry for more.
Starting with Xpeng, they produced their 10,000th electric vehicle at the new Zhaoqing Smart Factory last month. That happened less than 160 days after the factory was built. Xpeng now claims to be the fastest starter of all Chinese EV brands.
With a range of 706 km, the rear-wheel drive Xpeng P7 is the undisputed market leader. The in-house designed electric drive system of the P7, equipped with the German Infineon 950 IGBT module, offers a maximum engine efficiency of 97.5%. The battery of the P7 is only 110 mm high and reaches an energy density of 170 Wh / kg. In addition, a power of 81 kWh is delivered.
Xpeng differentiates itself from other brands by targeting “smart tech”. Indeed, the P7’s cockpit is quite rich in gadgets. Innovation is important to Xpeng. According to CEO He Xiaopeng, the Chinese EV market is at a crossroads where only the companies that differentiate from the crowd will survive.
Competitor NIO has meanwhile broken a sales record. 5,055 vehicles were sold in October, 100.1% more than in October last year. In total, NIO delivered 31,430 electric vehicles in 2020, an annual growth of 111.4%. There are now 63,343 Nios driving around China. Nio has three models: the ES8, ES6 and EC6.
Xpeng and NIO are quite different. Xpeng produces its new model, the P7, itself in a self-built factory, while NIO outsources production. Xpeng is strongly focused on vertical integration, NIO is not. NIO does work hard to advance and promote the entire EV ecosystem. NIO also innovates, including a unique battery exchange system in which the driver exchanges the battery for a fresh one. That is of course faster than charging.