Xpeng to deliver LiDAR-fitted P5 smart EVs this month, defying Elon Musk’s derision by dialling rivalry with Tesla up a notch
- Xpeng’s P5-600P, fitted with LiDAR with a catalogue price of 223,900 yuan (US$34,809), will be ready for delivery to customers from late September
- A basic 460G, without LiDAR, is priced at 157,900 yuan
The premium edition of Xpeng’s P5 all-electric sedan, called the 600P, will come fitted with LiDAR technology provided by the Livox affiliate of the drone maker DJI, ready for delivery to customers from late September with a catalogue price of 223,900 yuan (US$34,809). A basic edition called the 460G is priced at 157,900 yuan, without LiDAR.
The P5, Xpeng’s third mass production model, made its premier in April during the Shanghai auto show. The vehicle will be fitted with the XPILOT 3.5 advanced driver-assistance system in early 2022 after software updates. The autonomous driving system can handle several city-level scenarios, including self-parking and the ability to read traffic lights.
“An increasing number of young Chinese drivers are interested in intelligent cars because they have sophisticated in-car entertainment systems and driver assistant technologies,” said Gao Shen, an independent analyst in Shanghai. “I would bet that P5 will report sales of several thousand units a month when it hits the market.”
LiDAR, an array of laser rangefinders that give vehicles a more accurate reading of stationary and moving objects in their surroundings, is believed to be a game-changing feature in the ability of vehicles to handle autonomous driving.
However, Tesla’s chief executive Musk had famously dismissed LiDAR as being too expensive to install in commercial vehicles, describing attempts at mass application as a “fool’s errand.”
Xpeng may deliver as many as 15,000 vehicles every month in the fourth quarter, founder He said during an earnings conference call in August. Gu would not disclose the number of orders during the P5’s presale process, adding that response to the new LiDAR-fitted model is “several times more enthusiastic” than the reception for the P7 during its launch in 2019.