Xpeng Expands to France, but Will Consumers Embrace its Electric Vehicles?

The Chinese manufacturer Xpeng formalizes its arrival in France and opens orders for its G9 model.

France has had a new automobile brand since May 15, 2024. Xpeng invited the press to discover the brand's first two models during an event in Paris. The Chinese manufacturer is trying its luck on the French market after first launching its activity in other European countries, mainly in northern Europe. The brand will then continue its expansion into other neighboring countries.

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Who is Xpeng? What does the brand bring to the electric car market? These are necessarily the questions that we can ask ourselves when a new actor arrives, not necessarily one of the best known.

The Chinese startup targets the high end

If the name of the brand may seem mysterious to Europeans, it simply comes, like some of our historic French brands, from the family name of its founder: He Xiaopeng. Moreover, in China, the brand is pronounced Xiaopeng.

Launch of Xpeng in Paris // Source: Raphaelle Baut
Launch of Xpeng in Paris // Source: Raphaelle Baut

Xpeng is one of the relatively new players in the automotive market. The brand was created in 2014. It is therefore celebrating its 10th anniversary by tackling the European market, after quickly making a name for itself in China.

The Xpeng models are what we call “ Software-Defined Vehicles (SDV)”, cars that are developed around software, as Tesla does. Xpeng is ultimately more of a technological startup than a traditional automobile manufacturer. This is what marks the difference with other older rivals, who try to add the software layer to the forceps, rather than designing the software and the mechanical part together.

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The brand aims for a fairly high-end positioning (Chinese premium). Xpeng is not trying to enter the European market by slashing prices, like MG. Its prices place the brand on vehicles that are cheaper than German premium equivalents, but more expensive than Tesla or other general brands.

Two SUVs (G9 and G6) to start in France

Xpeng has sedans in its catalog, but has chosen to focus on what seems easier to sell in Europe (and France): SUVs. The Chinese brand leaves the sedan segment to its Chinese competitor Nio, which should soon launch in France as well.

Xpeng G9 // Source: Raphaelle BautXpeng G9 // Source: Raphaelle Baut
Xpeng G9 // Source: Raphaelle Baut

The Xpeng G9 has been, since May 15, the first model available for pre-order in France, with deliveries planned for the month of July. This is a fairly status SUV with a length of 4.89 m. It is placed between a Model Y and a Model X from Tesla. Its price is also positioned between the two American models. The Xpeng G9 is available in 3 versions, with an entry-level version priced at €59,990. The 4-wheel drive performance version is the most expensive at €73,990.

For this price, the customer has a model operating on an 800 V platform, such as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 for example, which allows particularly rapid recharges of 20 minutes to reach 10 to 80%. On paper, this is very good news for heavy riders.

G9 standard autonomyG9 extended battery lifeG9 performance
Power230kW230kW405kW
TransmissionPropulsionPropulsionAll-wheel drive
Battery78.4 kWh (LFP)98 kWh (NMC)98 kWh (NMC)
Autonomy460 km570 km520 km
Charging power260kW300kW300kW
Price€59,990€63,990€73,990
Comfortable interior of the Xpeng G9 // Source: Raphaelle Baut Comfortable interior of the Xpeng G9 // Source: Raphaelle Baut
Comfortable interior of the Xpeng G9 // Source: Raphaelle Baut

The technical sheet is not necessarily the one that displays the best price/performance ratio, but the model makes up for it in the quality of its interior and its provision of standard equipment. It will still be necessary to put it to the test in a road test to see if the SUV can chase away customers from other brands.

By June, Xpeng will also market the G6. This is a slightly less imposing model measuring 4.75m, a size identical to Tesla's Model Y. The design will be much more rounded. The quality of the cabin is a little simpler, but still neat. The technical sheet will also be a little more reasoned with batteries ranging from 66 kWh to 87.5 kWh. Prices will be known later, but this model could better meet the expectations of French customers.

Xpeng G6 // Source: Raphaelle BautXpeng G6 // Source: Raphaelle Baut
Xpeng G6 // Source: Raphaelle Baut

Xpeng has not chosen the easy way to launch in France, but the models are not lacking in interest. There is still all the awareness work to be done, in addition to having to pass the road test of journalists and first customers.


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