A small, initial run of 100 Xpeng G3 electric SUVs have been delivered across Norway, including within the Arctic Circle, representing a small but significant step in breaking into the European market. Perhaps understandably, the Chinese brand is starting its push in the region in countries with strong support for EVs by government, as well as high awareness and acceptance among buyers.
He Xiaopeng, CEO & Chairman of Xpeng, commented: “Customer deliveries in Norway represent a key milestone in Xpeng’s aspirations to become a truly international smart EV brand. Our launch in Europe comes just as consumers are shifting in increasingly large numbers to more sustainable personal transport, and at a tipping point where governments around the world are stepping up their zero emission efforts. We look forward to being a significant driver in accelerating that transition.”
The G3 is a so-called 'smart' electric SUV, which sounds fancy but in laymans terms means it has a decent array of semi-autonomous driving aids backed up by high levels of connectivity. Starting at around £30,300, the spec of the G3 looks fairly competitive on paper.
Driving the front wheels is a 194bhp, 221lb ft electric motor, offering a good level of performance with 0-62mph in 8.6 seconds. Electrical power is stored in a 66kWh battery supplied by CATL, offering a range of 280 miles with energy consumption of around 15kWh/100km. DC charging between 30 and 80 per cent takes around 43 minutes at an undisclosed speed, and using the AC on-board charger, zero to 100 per cent takes 11.2 hours. CHAdeMO charging connectivity is standard on the G3.
In terms of exterior dimensions, the Xpeng G3 is 4450mm long, 1820mm wide and 1570mm tall, making it slightly larger than the Hyundai Kona electric. Inside, there's 380 litres of boot space with the rear seats up and 760 litres with them folded. Drivers get a 12.3 inch configurable digital instrument display.
Xpeng's 'smartness' comes in the form of the company's proprietary XPILOT 2.5 driver assistance system driven by a similarly self-developed Xmart operating system. Alongside a host of safety systems, which have enabled the G3 to achieve a five-star C-NCAP crash test (which may differ compared to Euro NCAP), the G3 has an auto park function for both parallel and vertical spaces.
Connectivity is dealt with through a large 15.6 inch central touchscreen display incorporating navigation and APP control, whilst the car has an AI-powered “Hi Xpeng” voice assistant – all of which has been fully translated to work in English.
Xpeng is aiming to expand its European operation over the next 12 months. So far, there are no specifics on which markets it might enter, but it's safe to assume it'll continue to focus on those with established EV infrastructure. As well as market expansion, Xpeng is bringing its P7 sports saloon to the continent too. Whether European expansion includes the UK is unclear.