Published on August 29th, 2020 |
by Zachary Shahan
August 29th, 2020 by Zachary Shahan
Xpeng is a young (very young) electric vehicle startup in China that is getting a lot more attention in the US now that it has gone public on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). We’ve been covering the company for a couple of years — you can read an in-depth piece on the company here or look through the company’s history (and my evolving impression of the company) here. But we’ve never done a deep dive on the Xpeng G3, the electric crossover that got Xpeng off the ground. So, that’s the goal in this piece.
Xpeng G3 Price
Price is generally a critical factor for buyers (you can’t buy it if it’s out of your budget), so let’s start with that. One of the most impressive things about Xpeng’s vehicles is that they are quite affordable despite their premium-class design and high tech. There are different versions (trims) of the G3. Here are the post-subsidy starting prices of the different G3 trims:
- G3 460 Core — 146800 RMB ($21,383)
- G3 460 Smart — 166800 RMB ($24,296)
- G3 460i Core — 149800 RMB ($21,820)
- G3 460i Smart — 169800 RMB ($24,733)
- G3 520 Core — 159800 RMB ($23,276)
- G3 520 Smart — 179800 RMB ($26,189)
- G3 520 Premium — 196800 RMB ($28,665)
- G3 520i Core — 162800 RMB ($23,713)
- G3 520i Smart — 182800 RMB ($26,626)
- G3 520i Premium — 199800 RMB ($29,102)
Those are low prices … especially considering the tech, driving range, and design that you get with a G3.
Xpeng G3 Infotainment
One of Xpeng’s top advantages over most other automakers is that it’s building cars around tech, instead of gluing tech onto cars. You can think of one other company doing this. You know the company. Beyond Tesla, though, name one other car company that is building a full software stack on top of a supercomputer. I’ll wait.
Cofounder and CEO He Xiaopeng previously built and sold a software company to Alibaba — no small feat. Seeing the direction vehicles were going to go, Xiaopeng as well as a few other tech billionaires and visionaries jumped into software on wheels. That is clear in the G3’s infotainment system.
Interestingly, Xpeng doesn’t use the term “infotainment.” For this section, on the G3 configurator page, the subheading is “Xmart OS In-car Intelligence System.” This is a full Xpeng operating system, and that is highlighted in the name. Here’s some of what you get from this intelligent system:
- 15.6-inch Central Touchscreen Display
- 12.3-inch HD Liquid Crystal Intelligent Instrument Panel
- 128GB of Storage
- Wi-Fi & 4G Network
- In-car Bluetooth
- In-car App Store
- Online Content Services
- In-car KTV
- Driving Recorder
- Dual-microphone Noise Reduction
- Mobile App Remote Control
- USB Port (3 Charging+ 1 data interface)
- Automatic Seat Adjustment (height/weight analysis)
- AI Voice Assistant
- Smart Advice Service
- Smart Deodorization
- Over-the-air (OTA) Software Upgrades
- Guard Mode
- Welcome Mode
- Rest Mode
- Meditation Mode
Xpeng G3 Range
Range is a critical matter with an electric vehicle. Some people only feel a need for 100–150 miles, others feel a need for 400+. Below is the driving range for each of the G3 trims according to the NEDC rating system, which is known for being unrealistically optimistic but is the rating system used in China.
- G3 460i/460 — 460 km (286 miles)
- G3 520i/520 — 520 km (323 miles)
As you can see, Xpeng actually puts the range in the trim names there. Part of the reason for that may be that they are some of the best electric driving ranges on the market. When you’ve got an advantage, flout it.
For a crossover vehicle (or small SUV) that comes in at such a low price, the range is honestly a bit hard to believe. Good aerodynamics and an efficient powertrain can do wonders. Xpeng is also eating a bit of cash to offer the vehicle so cheaply, which it hopes will pay off with growing demand and eventual economies of scale.
Xpeng G3 Acceleration
Despite its looks, the G3 is not a super quick SUV. Its 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) time is just 8.6 seconds. With instant torque, that can still be fun and useful. However, this is quite sluggish compared to what’s available in a Tesla vehicle, or even in the Xpeng P7.
If you don’t care about accelerating very quickly off the line, then this doesn’t really matter. However, if you’re still reading this section, you do presumably care. If that’s the case, a test drive to compare the X3 to other models should be in order.
XPilot Hardware & Software
The higher-end G3 models have better XPilot semi-autonomous driving features than the lower-end G3 vehicles, even though both use the same “XPILOT 2.5 Advanced Driver Assistance System.” This includes the following features in the “Smart” or “Premium” trims:
- Enhanced AutoParking Assist (multiple parking scenarios, multiple parking space)
- Integrated Cruise Assist (ICA)
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Assisted Lange Change
- Adaptive Turning Cruise
- Driving Assistance Simulation Display
- 360° Video System
- Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)
- Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
- Cut in Warning (CIW)
- Forward Distance Monitoring (FDM)
- Blind Spot Detection (BSD)
- Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
- Lane Change Assist (LCA)
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
- Door Open Warning (DOW)
Note that the Xpeng P7 is offering XPilot 3.0 with its Premium trim. This will reportedly be the first semi-autonomous driving system to run on Nvidia’s Xavier supercomputing platform, but with the full software stack on top of that developed by Xpeng.
In 2019, Xpeng launched a ride-hailing platform, Pengster. An anonymous Xpeng employee told CleanTechnica at the time: “It will be an important component to Xpeng’s future smart mobility ecosystem, with cars as the entry point to the broader service offering.”
Xpeng G3 vs. P7
In my article about the P7, I shared a comparison with the G3. Here it is again:
Xtra Xpeng Specs & Features
There are additional Xpeng G3 specs and features that I did not highlight above. You can find some more of those details on the Xpeng G3 configurator page.
Notably, the Xpeng G3 got a 5-star safety rating in China. Text and visualizations on the aforementioned price explain why that is the case. The “safety” tab on that page dives into “intelligent safety system,” safety airbag protection, and high-strength body structure. On the matter of intelligent safety, Xpeng writes:
“The G3 is the first to be equipped with Bosch ESP 9.3 version of the electronic stability system. Compared with ESP version 9.1, sensor accuracy is increased by 33 times with faster intervention speed, effectively preventing any control incidents. The G3 is your safe travel companion.”
That’s impressive and intriguing.
Xpeng is also reportedly the first automaker to use Nvidia’s Xavier supercomputing platform, showing that the company likes to be first, big, and niche on this topic.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Send us an email: [email protected]
Latest Cleantech Talk Episode