XPeng launches new EV platform meant to cut production costs

Chinese electric vehicle maker XPeng has unveiled a new platform architecture, the Smart Electric Platform Architecture (SEPA) 2.0, for making vehicles.

SEPA 2.0 was designed to reduce development and manufacturing costs and to shorten the R&D cycle for future models by 20%.

SEPA 2.0, a modular, interchangeable vehicle platform will support a range of vehicle types, like XPeng’s upcoming G6 coupe SUV, and help cut costs on adaptations for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and smart infotainment systems by 70% and 85%, respectively.

The G6 will be the first vehicle built on the SEPA 2.0 platform.

The launch of SEPA 2.0 comes as XPeng’s rivals are cutting prices in China.

Tesla, in October, cut prices on models produced at its gigafactory in Shanghai. In January, Tesla introduced another discount that left its locally-made cars around 14% cheaper than in 2022.

Other automakers in China like XPeng, Nio, Volkswagen AG, Mercedes-Benz Group, and Ford Motor all followed suit with price cuts.

XPeng is yet to share pricing for the G6.

XPeng’s CEO He Xiaopeng said Sunday that an automaker needs to reach 3 million units annually and globally if it wants to survive beyond a decade.

XPeng delivered 18,230 EVs in the first quarter of the year, almost a 50% drop year-over-year. The company hopes its new P7i sports sedan, the new G6, and a yet-to-be-unveiled 7-seat multi-purpose vehicle will help boost sales this year.

The SEPA 2.0 architecture includes front and rear integrated aluminum die-casting technologies, a practice that Tesla has been using since 2020 to make single pieces of vehicle underbodies.

The architecture also incorporates “Cell Integrated Body” technology, which integrates the battery pack into the car body to provide more cabin space, increase battery safety and improve the driving performance with an improved center of gravity.

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