I recently wrote about all of the fantabulous features of the new XPeng G9, but that was before it was fully launched. It was just launched in full today, and one of the biggest surprises for me is its low price. I expected it to cost at $20,000+ more! The starting price is from 309,900 RMB ($43,960) on the low end up to 469,900 RMB ($66,656).
I’ll get back to some of the great features I wrote about before as well as some new advantages, but I’d first like to jump into the most important question of all: how many units of the G9 will XPeng produce and sell? I was just on a conference call for reporters with XPeng executives and asked a version of that 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 by sometime next year. That’s 120,000 a year.
That makes the G9 a notable EV. If you look at July sales in China (which accounts for about half the EV sales in the world), 10,000 registrations would make the G9 the 12th best selling plugin vehicle on the market. Personally, though, I can’t help but believe the G9 has more potential demand than that. There’s no reason it shouldn’t outsell the Volkswagen ID.4 or some of the other vehicles higher up that list. It could also appeal to people in Europe, North America, Australia, and elsewhere, but we’re yet to see if XPeng or any other smart EV startup other than Tesla can break into these non-China markets to a significant degree. But will XPeng sell it abroad? Oh, yes, yes it will. “G9 has been designed for both the Chinese and international markets from the start. The SUV is purposefully designed with an international perspective to meet the C-NCAP and E-NCAP five-star safety standards, as well as the stringent EU WVTA vehicle certification standards.” (No mention of the US safety system. Tear.)
Okay, let’s look closer at the SUV.
The G9 is the fastest-charging mass-produced passenger EV in the world, thanks to its 800V architecture and XPeng pushing such a platform to new heights. It can add 200 kilometers (124 miles) of range in just 5 minutes, and it can charge from 10–80% in 15 minutes.
There are 3 series of the G9, each with a different max driving range, and 6 different configurations in total. You can pick your mix of range, power, air suspension (or not), and 4WD versus RWD.
The G9 comes with a unique offering in terms of entertainment. It includes Xopera, which can include an “immersive 5D experience.” At first thought, 5D didn’t make much sense to me, but in actuality, it maximizes the senses in delivering a special experience while watching some movies or TV series, listening to music, or just because. Included in the Xopera 5D experience are “seat vibrations, changes to the ambient lighting, adjustable air conditioning, and customized fragrances when watching a film, listening to music, or simply relaxing.”
The G9 also includes what XPeng claims is the most advanced driver-assist suite on the market. “We believe it will become the new benchmark for smart EVs, representing the last step before the realization of truly autonomous vehicles,” said He Xiaopeng, CEO and Chairman of XPeng, during G9’s online launch event. The G9 comes with XNGP, “industry-first full-scenario driver assistance.” I recently went on a 1-hour 7-minute virtual test drive in an XPeng vehicle using CNGP, the precursor to XNGP that was just launched on Monday in select XPeng vehicles, and found it to be stunning in how well it responds to anything thrown at it on the road and continues to drive smoothly and naturally, like a human who drives superbly. You can watch that driving experience here:
You can also watch the CEO of XPeng, He Xiaopeng, experiencing City NGP a few months earlier here:
Here’s more on the hardware used for XNGP: “The X Version of G9 makes use of dual NVIDIA DRIVE Orin chips which deliver 508 TOPS (trillion operations per second) of computing performance. G9 uses 31 sensors and a front-view camera for advanced object detection—its front-mounting dual-LiDAR sensors cover 180º, reducing the size of blind spots.”
Some of our readers asked about the geofencing of XPeng’s CNGP in response to my last article on it, so I asked XPeng’s execs about that on the call today. While CNGP is relying on high-definition maps, and is thus rolling out city by city as those maps are approved, XPeng notes that XNGP will no longer be reliant on those HD maps to drive from point A to point B in any given city — eventually. (At the moment, CNGP is only available in Guangzhou. Within Guangzhou, based on an answer to my question today, CNGP can drive more or less everywhere it’s legal to drive.) The plan is that in about a year, XNGP will no longer rely on high-definition maps. It will still use them where it has them, since they add an extra layer of information and support, but they will no longer be necessary. This, to my eyes, is getting to some serious level 3 autonomous driving territory, or level 4 if the system is good enough!
Here’s a bit more on the semi-autonomous driving assistance features on the G9: “XPENG’s first-generation ADAS, XPILOT, comes standard on the E version of G9. Technological advancements and algorithmic iterations coupled with higher computing power elevate the performance of XPILOT’s existing ADAS functions that include ACC, LCC, VPA (Valet Parking Assist), and Highway NGP (Navigation Guided Pilot).
“With the new hardware and software architecture driven by closed-loop data, XPENG developed an enhanced Advanced Emergency Braking (AEB) active safety function on the E and X versions of G9.”
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