Henry Xia, President and Co-founder of Chinese electric vehicle maker XPeng, denied rumors on November 6 that the company may be considering adopting an extended-range power system in the future.
A blogger said that XPeng decided to develop extended-range vehicles because the sales volume of its XPeng G9 was not up to expectations after its release. Meanwhile, costs of pure electric vehicles have remained high and the gross profit of extended-range vehicles appears to be higher. The whole vehicle R&D department was studying how to make the new platform produce hybrid and pure electric models at the same time, and the feasibility and cost of transformation of the G9 were discussed.
When the battery of extended-range vehicles is fully charged, it drives the motor to provide the needed power to the whole vehicle, leaving the engine out of the process. When the battery falls to a certain level, the engine kicks in and provides energy for the battery. When the battery is fully charged again, the engine stops contributing.
On November 5, another blogger on Weibo said that XPeng had discussed extended-range vehicles, but it didn’t mean anything. XPeng founder He Xiaopeng has expressed his disagreement with extended-range vehicles.
XPeng sold 5,101 vehicles in October, 8,468 vehicles in September and 9,578 vehicles in August, showing that the sales volume has been less than 10,000 units for three consecutive months. Earlier, He Xiaopeng made it clear at a press conference that XPeng would use “ultra-fast charging, large battery life and self-operated charging stations” to eliminate hybrid vehicles and change the market structure. At that time, XPeng introduced the latest generation of its ultra-fast charging pile S4, with a maximum power of 480kW and a maximum current of 670A. When charging a XPeng G9, it can replenish 200 km cruising range in only 5 minutes.
In fact, extended-range vehicles have always been controversial. On July 4, AITO, an automobile brand jointly organized by Huawei and Seres, released its M7 model, equipped with Huawei’s DriveONE pure electric drive extended-range platform. On July 6, Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Terminal BG, lamented the prospect of extended-range vehicles on social media. “It will take time to popularize the charging pile, and the extended-range mode is the most suitable one at present.” Li Ruifeng, CEO of WEI of Great Wall Motor, posted that it is an industry consensus that the extended-range program is backward.
In addition, there are some signals from current policies. Following Beijing, the regulations issued by Shanghai in February last year showed that since January 1, 2023, if consumers buy plug-in hybrid cars (including extended-range cars), Shanghai will no longer issue special licenses for new energy vehicles for them.