XPeng G6: The iPhone 4 of Electric Vehicles - A Game-Changer in the EV Market

XPeng G6, going all-out.

On the evening of June 29th, at the launch event of the XPeng G6, as He Xiaopeng announced the price, there was a wave of cheers from the audience – especially when the starting price of 209,900 yuan was finally announced, numerous people in the audience exclaimed, ‘the price is amazing.’

Indeed, whether from a product or pricing standpoint, the XPeng G6 demonstrates an impressive offensive prowess.

The momentum behind this offensive lies in XPeng’s powerful countermoves under the harsh competition and heavy survival pressure. However, it can be seen that, using the XPeng G6 as a fulcrum, XPeng is also leveraging and, in fact, leading the current trend of electrification and intelligentization in the automotive industry.

This time, XPeng did a great job.

G6: XPeng’s ‘iPhone 4’

What does the G6 product mean for XPeng?

According to 42HOW, He Xiaopeng gave the most accurate answer at the launch: The G6 to XPeng is like the iPhone 4 to Apple, it’s a tipping point where accumulated changes reach a qualitative transformation.

The transformative aspect of the G6 is that it is the first strategic product under the XPeng SEPA2.0 technology framework.

Based on this framework, the XPeng G6 demonstrates formidable product strength in every aspect, especially in the fields of electrification and intelligence.

For instance, in terms of battery range, through super low wind resistance, standard heat pump across all models, and a more efficient thermal management system, and front and rear unibody aluminum casting leading to lighter body, the XPeng G6 can achieve a maximum range of 755 kilometers, and a hundred kilometer energy consumption is 13.2 kWh. Not only that, according to our 42Test, its battery range is very solid and its achievement rate is high.

On the energy replenishment side, thanks to the first mass-produced full-coverage 800V high-voltage SiC silicon carbide platform and standard 3C battery across all models, the XPeng G6 can achieve an increase of 300 kilometers in range with a 10-minute charge on S3/S4 supercharging stations. Moreover, on a national standard fast-charging station, users can also enjoy the generality of the G6’s 800V super-fast charging, which is over twice as fast as other brands’ 400V models.

Furthermore, based on the framework, XPeng G6 uses the country’s only unibody aluminum cast body, ensuring that the XPeng G6 does not lag behind in traditional mechanical quality. In addition, the 800V XPower three-in-one electric drive system adopted by XPeng G6 incorporates leading oil cooling and flat wire winding technologies in the industry, further enhancing the efficiency of electric drive, and will also give the XPeng G6 excellent acceleration and braking performance.On the safety level, XPeng G6 emphasizes on the integration of CIB battery and vehicle body technology, with an external layer made of 1500MPa ultra-wide thermal forming steel sill, the lateral pillar crush resistance can reach 80 tons.

Worth pointing out is that, under the Flying Roc structure, XPeng G6’s intelligence performance has been enhanced unprecedentedly.

Among them, in terms of smart cabin, G6 debuts a multi-scenario intelligent cabin, which can realize 350+ functions’ free mobilization and combination. At the same time, its All-Scenario Voice 2.0 system enables continuous command recognition, multi-sound zone recognition, offline usage capability, and full-scenario wake-up-free function – which further enhances XPeng G6 in terms of intelligent driving.

Overall, XPeng G6 based on the Flying Roc structure, almost showcases the comprehensive strength of a ‘hexagonal warrior’; within the range of intelligent electric vehicles priced between 200,000 and 300,000, it’s hard to find an equally matched competitor.

Worth mentioning is that, to roll out the Flying Roc architecture, XPeng spent five years, with R&D costs also exceeding 10 billion. There’s no doubt this is XPeng Auto’s major strategic investment.

Such investment holds a long-term value.

After all, for XPeng Auto, adopting the Flying Roc architecture is not just a qualitative evolution in terms of technology and product – More importantly, based on this structure, the whole product system of XPeng after G6 can effectively control costs in aspects like model development, parts generality, and cost control is the way for long-term development for automobile enterprises.

This is precisely why XPeng G6 can confidently challenge the market with a starting price of 209,900 Yuan.

Regarding the market target for G6, He Xiaopeng told 42HOW that the majority of G6’s sales will come from the three price points of 580 Max, 755 Max, and 755 Pro, and the final average price will be close to 250,000 Yuan.

He Xiaopeng also stated that within this price range of 250,000, G6 is confident in becoming number one, and G6 will continue to have software upgrading capabilities, and will continuously challenge the NEV market, including the entire auto market for the 250,000 price segment.

Intelligent Driving Commercial Landings, Benchmark Has Arrived

In terms of intelligent driving, XPeng G6 has created a ‘value benchmark’ that is difficult to surpass.

If the lowest starting price of 209,900 Yuan for the Pro version is XPeng G6’s highest sincerity to the potential target user group – then the starting price of the Max version at 229,900 Yuan is the biggest challenge issued by XPeng G6 in terms of intelligent driving commercial landing to the entire industry.In essence, through XPeng’s G6 580 Max Variant, users can purchase an intelligent electric vehicle supporting city navigation assisted driving feature at the lowest price of CNY 229,900, inclusive of:

  • On the hardware level, it is equipped with 31 high-performance Smart Drive sensors, including LIDAR, and dual Orin-X chips boasting a total computing power of 508TOPS.
  • On the software level, it supports the industry’s only mass-produced high-order intelligent assisted driving system XNGP, based on the BEV+Transformer technology architecture. Moreover, XNGP is free.

Essentially, starting from CNY 229,900 has significantly lowered the hurdle for users to experience city-based navigation assisted driving.

Indeed, looking at the current industry landscape, vehicle models that can support city navigation assisted driving features are often expensive and some require subscription payments. For instance:

  • NIO’s second generation of cars come standard with LIDAR and four Orin chips, the price is typically above CNY 300,000, and software requires a paid subscription.
  • LI Auto L series three models Max version, the lowest starting price is CNY 379,800, and the Max version is CNY 40,000 more expensive than the Pro version, with free software.
  • AVATR 11 is priced over CNY 300,000, and the software requires a subscription fee.
  • AITO M5 Smart Drive version starts at CNY 279,800, and software subscription is also paid.

In contrast, it is clear: XPeng G6 Max Model, with its starting price of CNY 229,900, has thoroughly smashed the industry’s price floor for city navigation-assist drive models, delivering a ‘fatal blow’ to those cars in this price bracket lacking ambition.

Not only this, with the same range standard, the price difference between XPeng’s G6 Max Model and Pro Model is merely CNY 20,000. According to our Weibo survey, when range is the same, 84% of users would opt for the XPeng G6 Max version.

This implies that for a price difference of CNY 20,000, most users are willing to foot the bill for XPeng G6’s city navigation assisted driving feature.

Surely, XPeng’s leading XNGP technology and strategic layout have always been important pluses for the G6 Max Model.

According to XPeng, upon delivery, the G6 Max Model will have access to the XNGP intelligent assisted driving system, including features such as the brand new generation of high-speed NGP, city NGP, the VPA-L memory parking and more. In the first half of 2023, XNGP will be available in four cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, with plans to expand it to nearly 50 cities in the second half of 2023.In addition, a ‘AI Valet’ mode will be unveiled by XPeng for all users who have purchased the Max version of XNGP. Functionally, AI Valet infers that in areas without HD map coverage, XPeng cars can still achieve high-level assisted driving from point A to point B, customized based on individual user habits.

XPeng cars stated that AI Valet can not only meet user requirements, but also cover high-frequency usage scenarios such as commuting to and from work, more importantly, it can aid in boosting the popularity of advanced assisted driving scenarios, promoting user acceptance in the intelligent assisted driving industry.

Overall, according to 42HOW, XPeng G6 has set new value standards for the mass production in the smart driving field, by fervently promoting the urban navigation assisted driving feature for ordinary users.

Herbert Xiaopeng also states in the interview:

G6 has put a huge pressure on the industry with its smart driving capabilities. As we continue to advance, our current strategy is to package and sell both the hardware and software together; I’m convinced that everyone will see how we’re managing and make changes accordingly.

XPeng’s comeback has just begun

As stated in the title of our press conference article on the day: G6 is XPeng’s do-or-die.

The reason for stating it as do-or-die is because XPeng was previously mired in a sales slump, a hot product was needed to increase scale.

After all, since the crisis of G9’s launch last year, XPeng experienced a sales low, for various reasons, G9 was lackluster; P7i, as the upgraded version of the hot-selling P7 model, also had delivery delay issues, leading to sales not meeting expectations.

In the midst of consecutive issues, XPeng in the first half of the year was overall in a depressed state, especially the first quarter financial report, both revenue and sales declined, losses expanded, all these setbacks can be described as ‘disastrous’. With market competition becoming increasingly cut-throat, XPeng G6 is heavily depended on, it has to become a hot-selling product to rescue XPeng’s current sales and scale crisis.

In this scenario, XPeng opted a starting price of 209,900 RMB for G6, indeed a do-or-die.

At any rate, in a financial report teleconference in May, He Xiaopeng had stated that XPeng will achieve a monthly delivery volume of 20,000 units in the fourth quarter, in which G6 will carry the crucial delivery volume task, and must reach double the total delivery volume of P7, which is certainly no easy feat. However, according to our latest Weibo poll, nearly 70% of voters believe that XPeng can achieve a monthly delivery volume of 20,000 units in Q4.

Evidently, the comprehensive strength of the G6 in terms of product and price has instilled great confidence from the outside.

Worth mentioning is that during the launch event on the evening of June 29, XPeng’s He Xiaopeng explicitly spoke about his sales expectation for the G6, that is, at least 10,000 units per month must be delivered in order for it to be considered a successful product. As such, one can see He Xiaopeng’s confidence in the G6.

Interestingly, the day after the G6 launch event, XPeng’s shares in both the U.S. and Hong Kong saw significant rises, with the Hong Kong shares surging more than 15.5%, and those in the U.S. jumping more than 14%. This also indicates that the G6’s overall performance is starting to get billed by the capital market.

From the current perspective, it appears that the G6 has already initially won the battle of confidence for XPeng.

Nonetheless, XPeng should not let its guard down before this confidence translates into sales, especially considering the delivery issues that the P7i had faced. He Xiaopeng also told 42HOW in an interview that the factory has been working extremely hard recently and that they need to increase supply chain demand. However, he said, with faster ramp-ups in the third quarter, the G6 is much more prepared than before and is set to speed up with the scale of orders.

It seems that XPeng has made extensive preparations and is determined to turn the tide with the G6.

However, He Xiaopeng does not believe XPeng’s future development can rely only on the G6.

In an interview, he stated that it is erroneous for a company to rely on a single car or node for development – the automotive industry is a long-term affair, and XPeng will have many new and altered vehicles in the future. He Xiaopeng also noted that what matters is systemic capability, prioritizing organizational capacities during the most difficult times last year.

He mentioned that the current pricing of the G6 is greatly related to the recent organizational changes within XPeng, the most notable impression being that they have become more systemized. Although, he emphasized that the story behind this cannot be shared yet, perhaps in a year’s time.

So, has the organizational transformation of XPeng been completed?

He Xiaopeng’s answer is: not yet.

He mentioned in an interview that, at present, only the first major step of the company’s transformation has been completed. There are still the second and third major steps, each of which may take a year to complete. To reach the level of being number one in China or amongst the top in the world, it would take at least until 2027.

Judging from this response, it is apparent that He Xiaopeng’s understanding of the automotive industry and automobile companies has undoubtedly matured. Combined with the performance of the G6, we can conclude that: He Xiaopeng is increasingly becoming a competent automotive CEO.However, despite many iterations of understanding, He Xiaopeng still sticks to his perseverance in intelligence and technological innovation.

He expressed confidence in the next five years because they are the years of intelligence. XPeng is innovating in multiple dimensions, including intelligence. It can do both capability and quality well while controlling costs. He also emphasized that the DNA of XPeng is technological innovation, which brings more variables.

Of course, throughout the interview, what impressed us most was that He Xiaopeng himself indeed spoke passionately and confidently in the process of answering questions. When discussing the development of future markets, he remarked:

Everyone’s rhythm is different. This war, this competition, this marathon is still far away. For companies like us, there are many years to strive together. Looking from a different perspective, what I want to say is, I don’t think they are successful, and I also don’t think we have any problems now…

Whoever laughs last, laughs best. Otherwise, there is no meaning at all.

In such confidence, we see a more ambitious He Xiaopeng, and also a healthier XPeng at the organizational level: It is ready to make a stunning comeback with the G6.

This article is a translation by ChatGPT of a Chinese report from 42HOW. If you have any questions about it, please email bd@42how.com.