Is Xpeng Set to Be The Tesla of China?

The Tesla-inspired startup is on its way to become China’s largest electric car maker.
Kashyap Vyas

Elon Musk's Tesla cars have electrified the hearts of millions of people all around the globe with their incredible finesse and well-designed architecture.

But for the Chinese entrepreneur and engineer, He Xiaopeng, the cars were the source of motivation and inspiration to create his own company of electric cars named Xpeng Motors based on the lines of Tesla cars.

The founder of Xpeng keeps no secret of the fact that he’s heavily inspired by Tesla. After developing the Chinese web browser UC Browser and selling it to Alibaba in 2014, the entrepreneur found a great opportunity in the automobile industry.

The biggest inspiration for Xiaopeng came from the hundreds of Tesla patents that were open sourced for the world by CEO and Founder Elon Musk in the same year.

He Xiaopeng proudly quoted in an interview that one of the major reasons behind the origin of company Xpeng Motors was due to the availability of Elon Musk's Tesla patents.

The Chinese entrepreneur further added that he was highly influenced by the Tesla's potential and power and how he fell in love with listening to music while driving a Tesla car since the car bestows a noise-free experience.

The love of Xiaopeng for Tesla can be deduced from the fact that the owner of Xpeng Motors owns four Tesla cars, himself. Xiaopeng has also hired many Tesla staffers to emerge as the biggest automobile manufacturing company in the world's electric vehicle capital.

Many of the Tesla cars and the cars manufactured by the Xpeng motors reflect start similarities. For instance, consider the G3 model which is the debutant model of the start-up company.

From the slim LED headlights, the windscreen that blends into a sunroof, and the large central control monitor, there are many parallel features between Xpeng's geeky G3 and Tesla's Model X.

Also just like Tesla, Xpeng is developing a charging network too and plans to sell G3 through its own stores.

Most Popular

Tesla to Witness a Fascinating Face-off

With Tesla gearing up for setting its first wholly owned subsidiary in Shanghai, China, the sustainable energy run electric Tesla cars should surely pump itself for an interesting fight.

 The Elon Musk-run Tesla will find an overlap between its contenders and it's most passionate followers as Xpeng Motors was majorly built on the patents released by Elon Musk.

It would be really interesting to observe how both the companies face off one another in the world's largest market for electric cars.

On one side there will be the original Tesla models, that will be soon starting it's manufacturing in the Chinese province, while on the other side, the indigenously built electric cars from Xpeng that are more or less similar to the Musk's cars, the companies are going to witness a gripping and healthy rivalry.

In a country, where half of the world's electric vehicles are sold and electric cars boss the streets, this new pact between Chinese government and Tesla signing for an car-production facility wholly owned by a foreign automaker, is definitely going to be a huge show among the indigenously crafted EV's and Tesla's electric cars in future.

The battle of the attention is in full power for the founder and CEO of Xpeng motor and it seems that He Xiaopeng has no intentions to leave any stone unturned to beat the Palo- Alto-based Tesla and emerge as the best horse in the electric vehicle market in China.

The Alibaba-backed startup is valued at $3.6 billion after its most recent funding round, though it hasn’t yet delivered a single car.

Xpeng G3 SUV
Source: Jengtingchen/Wikimedia Commons

The company also hopes to grab a total funding of 30 billion yuan ($4.36 billion) by the end of 2019.

“From where I stand, the future will definitely be internet-connected smart cars,” said He, who estimates he would have invested more than 1 billion yuan (US$155 million) of his own money into the venture by next year.

“I am confident enough that I’m willing to bet all my wealth.”

The firm has so far received 6,000 pre-orders of G3 and has promised to produce at least 1,000 cars by the end of this year. Just like its role model Tesla, Xpeng might want to ramp up its production.

History of Xpeng Motors

The history of the four-year-old startup,  that was established in the year 2014, is quite interesting as it grew from China's inclination towards the production of "new energy vehicles" which will not only be beneficial for the planet, but also for the mankind in the long run.

The production of vehicles utilizing alternate sources of energy rather than fossil fuels will not only lessen global warming but also provide an option for sustainability.

He Xiaopeng
Source: Aaronlewis3207/Wikimedia Commons

After selling UCWeb Inc., the Chinese entrepreneur took an in-depth look at the Tesla patents and saw an opportunity to create a startup. While also heading the Alibaba’s digital entertainment business, He began recruiting engineers for his new automotive startup Xpeng.


Within a span of 3 years, Xiaopeng and his team launched a beta version of their first vehicle, the Xpeng, an all-electric SUV. The vehicle had striking similarities with Tesla’s Model X in terms of battery pack architecture, central touchscreen and even the instrument cluster in the interior.

After managing to fund from investors, the 4-year-old startup is now aiming to expand the production at a factory in Zhengzhou. The company recently unveiled their first car intended for sale at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Who Will Win?

The appropriate answer to this question is undoubtedly unimaginable at this moment. Both of the contenders in the game are equally talented and creative.

Although Elon Musk has got a slight upper hand due to his experience and time spent in the field of alternate energy, we should not underestimate the young Chinese entrepreneur who is in full mood gamble all his wealth on the EV project.

For now, rather than predicting about the end of the game, we should just sit back and enjoy how this amazing race is going to turn out. Because, after all, any new effort by these two companies will only turn out to be a win-win situation for the end users and also for the field of sustainable development.

message circleSHOW COMMENT (1)chevron