A Chinese vehicle owner attested on domestic social media on October 10 that when he was charging his XPeng EV at the company’s own facility, he found that a QR code for Li Auto had been posted in the lower left-hand corner of the operation guide.
The text next to the QR code reads, “Scan the QR code, invite friends to sell XPeng vehicles, and switch to Li Auto‘s models immediately.” The QR code belonged to a person named Hang Nan. If the requested information is submitted, the user has confirmed the invitation, and a product expert will contact the user. Regarding the matter, Li Auto affirmed to iFeng that Hang Nan is not an official company salesperson.
Commenting on this aggressive marketing method, one web user wrote, “The invitations can generate points [for purchasing goods through Li Auto’s app], which shows the company’s poor financial performance,” while others questioned the firm’s low-end positioning.
XPeng has now launched a total of 1,011 self-operated charging stations, including 205 self-operated destination stations, 799 self-operated supercharger stations, and seven self-operated ultra-fast charging stations.
XPeng released the S4 self-developed supercharging piles on August 15, and launched their first batch of ultrafast locations in five cities on September 24. S4 piles have a maximum power of 480kW per pile, a maximum current of 670A, and a peak charging power of 400kW. They support XPeng G9 models and can purportedly provide 200 km of cruising range under CLTC conditions after a five-minute charge.
There are not many EV brands using ultra-fast charging technology at present. The Porsche Taycan, with a price tag of 898,000 yuan ($124,956), is equipped with an 800V charging platform enabling peak power of 270kW. The Tesla V3 super-charging pile uses a 400V high-current platform with peak power of 250kW, and the battery life can increase by 150 km after five minutes of charging.
“Now the 800V platform is about 40,000 to 50,000 yuan more expensive than the 400V platform,” Economic Weekly quoted an auto analyst as saying. The analyst continued, “after the voltage is increased to 800V, the motor, electronic control, air conditioning and other component systems of the vehicle are all designed according to the high-voltage standards. All aspects of testing standards and requirements for suppliers are higher, the development process will be elongated, and the development cost will also increase.” The cost of the 800V platform has risen to a certain extent, which has lowered the price-performance ratio of the XPeng G9.
In addition, Shen Yanan, the co-founder and president of Li Auto, said that the company will focus on the research and development of electric driving technology, next-generation range extension technology, and 400kW high-speed charging technology. In terms of facilities, Li Auto plans to build the charging infrastructure before the launch of pure electric models in 2023.
According to data from the China EV Charging Infrastructure Promotion Alliance, as of August 2022, members of the alliance have reported a total of 1.623 million public charging piles, including 702,000 DC charging piles, 921,000 AC charging piles, and 224 AC-DC integrated charging piles.