Chinese electric car company Xpeng Motors has revealed its new P5 sedan. It is the second sedan in the Xpeng lineup and the third vehicle overall, following the P7 Sedan and the G3 SUV. The P5 is affordable and surprisingly less expensive than the widely popular Model 3 in China and includes a series of new driverless technology features that are powered by polarizing LiDAR systems.
The price of the Xpeng P5 was set to be released later this month at the Shanghai Auto Show on April 19th. However, CNBC caught up with Xpeng’s Vice President of Autonomous Driving, Xinzhou Wu, who revealed details regarding the price of the P5 sedan, stating that it would be lower than the P7 that starts at 229,900 yuan ($35,192). Incredibly, the P7 is already less expensive than the Model 3, so the P5 could undercut the Tesla sedan’s price by several thousand dollars.
The P5 is set to roll out to Chinese car buyers later this year, in the third or fourth quarter, according to Wu. The vehicle will be available in China, along with Norway, a major focus of many EV companies due to its high concentration of all-electric vehicles. Xpeng recently expanded its reachable market to Norway and plans to launch the P5 shortly, but Wu didn’t give any specific timelines on when that will occur.
Xpeng will equip the P5 with LiDAR for its driverless technology. Xpeng claimed that the LiDAR would help improve accuracy when distinguishing pedestrians, cyclists, and scooters to keep others on the road safe. The company says it would be advantageous in low-light conditions as well. Xpeng has equipped XPILOT, a driver assistance system that includes some autonomous features that can be accessed if a driver is attentive. XPILOT was recently updated to version 3.5 that will equip an improved version of the Navigation Guided Pilot, or NGP, which can overtake cars and change lanes autonomously. The update will allow the features to operate on city streets as previously outfitted for highway use exclusively.
“In P7, we launched NGP…only on highways. But highway driving only occupies like 10% of peoples’ driving time. Being able to bring the technology and the capability to cities is very important to make the feature more usable and more compelling to Chinese customers,” Wu said in the CNBC interview. City driving presented “exponentially” more issues than highway driving, Wu said. “We believe with Lidar…it will help us achieve our goal much faster and gives us an edge against our competitors.”
The P5 has the opportunity to help Xpeng grow its sales figures; it delivered 27,041 cars last year. With an affordable price tag and an increasing thirst for electric vehicles in China, Xpeng’s P5 could help the automaker compete with some of the Chinese EV industry’s biggest names. “We are definitely a step, a few steps ahead, you know, as compared to most of our competitors. So we are pretty confident that we can win this race even with more newcomers into this space,” Wu added.