Having previously unveiled its EV-G3 earlier this month at CES in Las Vegas, Xiaopeng Motors just received financial backing by Alibaba Group Holding and Foxconn Technology. The tech giants led a funding round of 2.2 billion yuan ($347.74 million), in light of the growing competition in the electric vehicles market in China. Estimates for China predict a 40% growth in the battery-powered vehicles in 2018, in spite of the slowdown in traditional car sales last year.
Xiaopeng Motors had its previous Series A funding round in December, raising money from Alibaba, GGV Capital and Matrix Partners China. The latest round which included IDG Capital, and earlier investors like GGV Capital, Morningside Venture Capital and Matrix Partners, brought Xiaopeng’s valuation to 5 billion yuan.
On the other hand, it reflected Alibaba’s strong determination to enter the automotive industry, following the steps of its western peers. Alibaba has already invested in smart car technology and forged partnerships with traditional global and Chinese automakers, such as Ford Motor and BMW.
CES 2018 debut
Xiaopeng’s electric car was introduced at the recent CES. The show hosted several Chinese start-ups focused on the electric vehicles market, such as Byton. In addition to aiding to the speedy development of the EVs market, Xiaopeng and other start-ups are threatening incumbents like Tesla.
Xpeng’s G3 is the company’s first mass production version of the smart car, ready-to-sell in 2018. The company will be targeting a younger demographic with geek lifestyle, and an attitude of exploration and innovation. Thus, the car’s names contains “G” for geek and “3” for the car’s category.
The G3 has state-of-the-art interior and cutting edge technological features. It was designed in a way that would make drivers feel like being inside the cabin of a spaceship. The vehicle is equipped with the fist 360-degree roof camera and a large HD touch scree, enabling a unique driving experience. The 360-degree panoramic camera on the roof allows drivers to capture, save and share their pictures and video from anywhere. Moreover, G3 has the most powerful self-driving hardware available in China and a customised camera structure to address the Asian driving environment.
The G3 will be available in the spring of 2018, when additional specifications and prices will also be released.