Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer, Xpeng, has unveiled a new flagship SUV. Called the G9, the semi-autonomous vehicle will make its international debut in Norway, before expanding into the global market.
This announcement continues the trend by Chinese EV firms to establish a foothold in the EV-friendly nation, before expanding to a wider audience.
While Xpeng quietly began shipping its G3 SUV and P7 sedans into the Scandinavian country this year, the G9 marks the EV start-up’s first “international” model.
Speaking at the Guangzhou Auto Show where the G9 was showcased for the first time, company president and co-founder, Henry Xia, said that the G9 was his firm’s attempt to design and build an EV for both Chinese and international consumers.
Because the G9 was developed with Europe in mind, the sophisticated EV is compliant with C-NCAP and E-NCAP 5-star design standards, making it one of the safest EVs available.
The SUV’s front end is fitted with Lidar sensors integrated into the headlights, reducing the eyesore often presented by clunky sensor systems in EVs. Lidar is a light detection system used to measure distances to important features like fellow drivers and pedestrians.
Xpeng’s latest offering will also come equipped with Xpilot 4.0, the firm’s advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS). Xpilot 4.0’s integration into the vehicle will allow it to pull off semi-autonomous functions like lane switching and parking.
Xpeng claims to have overcome another obstacle posed by EVs – slow charge times. The G9 will be fully compatible with the Xpower 3.0 powertrain system, China’s first mass-produced 800V supercharger, allowing the EV to regain roughly 200 kilometres of range in five minutes, according to EV site, Electrek.
Specs such as battery size, trim options, ranges and prices are yet to be made public but a company insider told online media publication, TechCrunch, that the EV manufacturer was eyeing a wider European entry sometime in 2022.
It is unknown whether the G9 would be made available to African consumers. The continent remains woefully behind in infrastructure at the moment and its EV sales reflect that. South Africans only purchased 92 EVs in 2020 – roughly 0.02% of the country’s car sales, according to African Business.
Several African countries, including Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal and the Ivory Coast, however, are actively looking to increase their EV intake through new policies and investments.