G9 SUV Revealed: Will it Take on Tesla?

Xpeng Motors, an electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer based in China, has just unveiled a new flagship SUV with an ultra high-power charger to go alongside it. This beautiful G9 crossover is the first by the company to be developed from the ground up with worldwide regulatory compliance in mind.

It’s also the carmaker’s first product to be designed specifically for global regulations. Xpeng Automobile Company Limited (Xpeng Auto), founded in 2014, has been expanding swiftly, selling over 10,000 automobiles each month in the country of its creation.

Xpeng currently trades on the New York Stock Exchange and has offices throughout California, including one near to Alphabet’s Waymo (around the corner from Google’s San Francisco headquarters) and Silicon Valley (in Mountain View, California, next to Google’s headquarters).

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The company’s new G9 SUV, which features what Xpeng refers to as “Robot Face” styling and a quartet of LED daytime running lights that mimic the Polestar-like logo, includes a significant horizontal light band across its grille-free nose, along with tall, cleanly surfaced bodysides and 21-inch wheels.

The G9 is the latest example of a vehicle with integrated lidar from Xpeng. The G9 includes these laser radar sensors built into its headlight units, which was one of the first manufacturers to integrate lidar into a production auto. Unfortunately, it will be a while before we get any photos of the interior of the G9.

Instead, Nissan appears to be focusing on the G9’s charging speed and new advanced driver assistance systems. According to reports, the G9 is the automobile firm’s fourth model, but it is only the first to employ China’s first 800V high-voltage mass production SiC platform.

With Nissan’s new 480-kW “supercharging piles,” the G9 will be able to add up to 200 kilometers of range – 124 miles – in as little as five minutes after being charged at one of their 400-400 kW supercharging stations.

The new underlying electrical architecture will also assist the G9’s sensor array, which is used in Xpilot 4.0, a new version of Tesla’s suite of sophisticated driver aids.

While Tesla is avoiding using the word “self-driving” to describe Xpilot, the release claims that the system will be “the first to offer full-scenario assisted smart driving from vehicle start-up through parking.”

Over-the-air software updates and cloud communications are seen as critical to enabling automated mobility, which means 5G connections will be important in the future. In the realm of electric vehicles, X-Power 3.0 superchargers from XPeng now feature a novel liquid cooling system that allows for up to 670 amps of power.

The technology enables the charging of 30 cars at once, with a 600-amp peak charging current among domestic Chinese companies. Xpeng claims to have the largest network of charge stations in China (for comparison, as of mid-August Tesla had over 7,000 charge points).

Xpeng’s rapid rise has not gone unnoticed. In 2019, Tesla accused a former employee-turned-Xpeng worker of stealing Autopilot secrets and filed a lawsuit against him.

According to reports, an ensuing lawsuit against the defendant was settled in June, with the charged paying a “token” amount of money to Tesla. Furthermore, in June 2020, Xpeng was accused of plagiarizing Tesla’s website appearance.

The G9 is expected to be released in China later this year, according on a source close to the situation. The SUV will be accessible in China by Q3 2022, according to a source close to the situation.

Xpeng’s worldwide expansion plans call for European vehicle sales first, with additional markets coming online thereafter. The company has yet to confirm the model for US and Canadian availability outside of its home market.