For the past several years, many of us have been wondering about when Chinese electric vehicle (EV) startups would start trying to sell their vehicles in Europe and North America. We’re finally seeing the expectation come to life. XPeng started selling (delivering) its G3 electric crossover to homes in Norway in December, and now the first units of its P7 electric sedan are on the way there.
Of course, Norway is a unique market — more than 80% of new auto sales are plugin vehicles, and more than 60% are fully electric vehicles. If you want to sell cars in Norway, you need to sell EVs. If you are an EV company, Norway is a market you want to be in.
— XPeng Motors (@XPengMotors) August 23, 2021
We will see what other markets XPeng goes into next (presuming it finds success in Norway and think it’s worthwhile to keep expanding, but I certainly believe that will be the case). Other top EV markets include the Netherlands, France, and now Germany. However, those markets are all quite large and might be more difficult to break into. Neighboring Nordic countries are starting to go wild about EVs now as well and they might be easier to roll into once XPeng has a footing in Norway. I’m thinking Sweden, in particular. Of course, Iceland is the #1 auto market in the world in terms of market share of new automobile sales being electric, but it’s also a tiny market in the middle of the ocean. That said, XPeng is shipping cars from China anyway … so maybe dropping a few off in Iceland wouldn’t be too hard. We’ll see where XPeng goes from here, but let’s get back to looking at Norway and the P7 for now.
Produced in Guangzhou, China, the P7 is one of the top selling electric vehicles in China (#7 in July among all plugin vehicles, and #12 for 2021 so far). The 50,000th consumer vehicle was just produced, and XPeng also just announced a doubling of the company’s production capacity is on the way (timing is not clear).
Norway is different from China, but note that the BYD Han EV is also now selling in Norway.
The first P7s for the Norwegian market were produced in August, this month, and will be delivered to the country’s first buyers in the 4th quarter.
“As a leading player in the fast-evolving smart electric vehicle space, XPeng sees tremendous opportunities and demand for its smart EVs in global markets. While China remains its base and core market, XPeng is committed to developing international markets with a long-term perspective. The rollout of the P7 in Norway represents the next logical step in this strategy, and vindicates its progress to date in developing its presence outside China,” the company writes.
“XPeng’s flagship model, the P7 received the European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval (WVTA) earlier this year. It offers an unrivalled combination of elegance, style, comfort and performance, available in 4-Wheel Drive (4WD) High Performance and Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD) Super Long Range version for the Norwegian market. Equipped with a powerful 80 kW·h battery pack, the Norwegian P7 delivers a range of up to 530km (RWD) WLTP. It provides a selection of features tailored for local conditions, including a CCS charging port, front seat heating, driver seat ventilation and 4-way lumbar support power adjustment. The P7’s smart cockpit, with an English interface and voice assistant, is an exclusive in-cabin space, offering added passenger comforts for sight, sound and touch. Its advanced surround sound system from Dynaudio and personalized wrap-around mood lighting provide further exclusive features. The P7 has won recognition from major independent quality assessment organizations, including a 5-star safety rating from C-NCAP, a 5-star rating from China’s i-VISTA (Intelligent Vehicle Integrated Systems Test Area), and the highest ranking in the midsize BEV segment in J.D. Power’s inaugural China New Energy Vehicle–Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (NEV-APEAL) Study, aiming to find the best tech-optimized driving experience.”
How well do you think the P7 will do in Norway? What markets do you think XPeng will enter next? How long until the USA gets some smart electric vehicles from Chinese companies? Okay, maybe forget about that last question for now. Regarding the first one, for some more context, here’s a look at the top selling plugin vehicles in Norway in July and January–July 2021:
As far as XPeng’s first EV model to arrive in Norway, 114 units of the G3 were delivered in March, 26 were delivered in April, 49 were delivered in May, 34 were delivered in June, and 31 in July. Could the P7 break into Norway’s top 20? It sells much better than the G3 in China. Can it see hundreds of sales a month in Norway, or just dozens a month like the G3? Also, XPeng is super fresh in Norway. How will consumer interest in the G3 also evolve over time as XPeng gets more of a footing and now that it has two models for sale there?
I have a lot of questions. I don’t have a lot of answers. Let us know your thoughts.