Chinese electric vehicle maker XPeng unveiled Sunday its new platform architecture for making vehicles that will set the foundation for future production models and reduce the cost of development and manufacturing.
The SEPA 2.0 is expected to shorten the R&D cycle for future models by 20%, and cut costs on adaptations for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and smart infotainment systems by 70% and 85%, respectively.
The modular, interchangeable vehicle platform will support a range of vehicle types, including XPeng’s upcoming G6 coupe SUV, which debuts Tuesday at Auto Shanghai 2023. The G6 will be the first vehicle built on the SEPA 2.0 platform. XPeng’s president, Brian Gu, told reporters Sunday that about 80% of architectural components in each upcoming model will be compatible with future models, which will help XPeng add to its lineup without incurring too many costs.
The cost-focused event comes as XPeng’s rivals have sparked price wars in China. Tesla triggered a price war in October when the automaker cut prices on models produced at its gigafactory in Shanghai. In January, Tesla threw more fuel on the fire with another discount that left its locally made cars around 14% cheaper than in 2022. Rivals, including XPeng, Nio, Volkswagen AG, Mercedes-Benz Group, and Ford Motor, all followed suit, which has wreaked havoc on the already struggling auto market in China.
Last month, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers called for an end to the price war, saying it wasn’t a long-term solution to low demand and too much inventory. XPeng’s SEPA 2.0 is seen as an innovative way to reduce costs and shorten the R&D cycle, giving the company a competitive edge in the Chinese market. By introducing a modular, interchangeable vehicle platform, XPeng can produce a range of vehicle types while keeping costs low and maintaining compatibility with future models. The company’s focus on cost reduction and innovation could help it to weather the ongoing price wars and come out on top in the Chinese electric vehicle market.