China’s EV maker Xiaopeng Motors to launch new car using USD 42M

Chinese electric car company Xiaopeng Motors has completed USD 42 million in Series A financing. The company’s co-founder and president Henry Xia confirmed the funding on Sina Weibo.

In the Weibo post on Monday, Xia disclosed that investors also loaned the company USD 60 million without interest to support development for the next two years, but detailed information about the investors was not mentioned.

Xia Heng's Weibo
Henry Xia’s Weibo

Founded in Guangzhou in 2014, the company initially focused on R&D for core technology related to motors, batteries, electronic control systems and center display touch screens.

Xia said earlier that they started the styling and bodywork design in June 2015 and that the prototype car would be finished in late 2016. Production is expected to begin in 2017.

He said that several development mule vehicles have been tested, with testing distance exceeding 5,000 kilometers. The mule vehicles can go from zero to 100 km per hour in 7.4 seconds with a top speed of 170 km per hour. It’s rumored that the price of one of their electric cars will be RMB 100 thousand.

The company aims to attract a younger generation by using new technology and craftsmanship to make better vehicles in the future.

“Our target customers are part of the younger generations living in first-tier cities. We will also apply the concept of the sharing economy to our products,” Xia said. “We will adopt the methods of both selling and renting vehicles, but the latter will be our main profit source.”

Xia Heng
Xiaopeng Motors’ co-founder and president Henry Xia. Photo from tech,ifeng.com.

Due to Chinese government subsidies and tax breaks for manufacturers, as well as driving restrictions on gas-powered vehicles in cities, the EV industry is booming in China.

There are notable Chinese EV players in the sector. BYD is currently the biggest electric car maker with its popular plug-in hybrid ‘Qin’ sedan. LeEco is ambitiously making strides into the EV realm, establishing a partnership with Aston Martin, and Kandi established a joint venture with Geely — known as the company that bought Volvo — to make electric cars.

And don’t forget the world’s EV superstar, Tesla. The Tesla Model 3’s release has attracted huge interest in China.

The EV industry has a bright future in China, and Xiaopeng Motors has a chance to be a part of that future. Its supporters have shown confidence in the company. Angel investors for company include He Xiaopeng, who co-founded the Chinese mobile internet software and service provider UCWeb; Li Xueling, who founded the Chinese video-based social network YY; Fu Sheng, who founded China’s second largest internet security software provider Cheetah Mobile; and Tencent’s senior executive, Wu Xiaoguang.

(Top photo from geekpark.net)

A correction was made that “Fu Sheng founded China’s internet security software provider Cheetah Mobile”.

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