Chinese electric car startup Xiaopeng raises $350 million from Alibaba and Foxconn
Chinese electric car startup, Xiaopeng Motors, announced it has secured a $348 million investment round led by two Chinese tech giants, Alibaba and Foxconn. The funding round was joined by venture capital firm IDG Capital. The company plans to use the for both research and expand production, Xiaopeng said in a release Monday. The company has so far raised more than RMB5 billion (US$791 million), it said Monday in Hong Kong. Founded in 2014, Xiaopeng, which operates under the trade name Xpeng Motors, focuses on developing “Internet cars” and electric vehicles, and is conducting research on autonomous driving technology.
The company unveiled of its first production model car, the G3 electric sport utility vehicle, at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this month. Commenting on the investment’s announcement at a press conference in Hong Kong, Alibaba executive vice chairman, Joe Tsai, said: “Smart transportation has great potential to become one of the fastest-growing sectors, making a huge impact on people’s daily lives,” Tsai said. “Alibaba is very excited to work together with Xiaopeng Motors to accelerate the integration and innovation across sectors, leading to more rapid development in smart transportation.” “Xiaopeng Motors is an example of cross-sector innovation, combining technologies in Internet, artificial intelligence and traditional manufacturing.”
The G3 is expected to hit the market in China later this year. The car is equipped with 360-degree panoramic roof camera, intelligent central touchscreen, intelligent low-speed driving, remote control and a total of 25 sensors. Founded by Henry Xia, Xiaopeng’s first car debuted at CES 2018 is very similar to Tesla Model X. Xia openly admitted that he was influenced by Tesla and that its company is open-sourcing some of Tesla’s patents. The interior is similar to Model X (the big windshield) and Tesla’s Model S (the big touchscreen in the center).
The car is expected to be priced at $47,440, according to a report by the South China Morning Post. The Tesla Model X SUV sells for more than $100,000.