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Australia could be set for yet another new electric vehicle brand to enter the market in a few years’ time.
Chinese electric vehicle-maker Xpeng flagged its intention to move into right-hand drive (RHD) markets when it ripped the covers from its latest model, the G9 SUV, at last month’s Guangzhou motor show.
The G9 is the fourth model in the fledgling brand’s line-up but it is the first one developed from the ground up for the Chinese domestic and international markets.
An Xpeng spokesperson confirmed with CarsGuide that right-hand drive markets are part of the brand’s plan, following a push into northern Europe.
“Our overall strategy for the long run is to localise operations in the international markets and RHD will be part of that,” they said.
“Currently we are focused on building our presence in Europe with LHD countries as the first-tier priority. (Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Netherlands)
“We have not disclosed any timeline for RHD markets yet.”
Other EV brands from China that are expected to set up sales operations Down Under include BYD, which has just launched the cheapest EV in Australia - albeit in very limited numbers - and Great Wall Motors-owned Ora brand. The Tesla Model 3 is made in China for the Ausralian market, and Lynk & Co which was recently confirmed for Australia, also builds its cars in China.
Xpeng already imports vehicles to Norway, which has a mature EV market thanks to generous incentives and appropriate charging infrastructure.
Other models in Xpeng’s arsenal include P7 sedan, P5 sedan and G3 compact SUV.
According to Xpeng, the G9 will meet the latest safety design standards of both Euro NCAP and China NCAP.
It also has a recyclable rate of more than 95 per cent of the whole vehicle.
Built on the company’s X-EEA 3.0 electric vehicle architecture, the G9 combines a super-computing platform with regular EV architecture.
The G9 is also fitted with Xpeng’s in-house advanced driver assist system that allows for assisted driving.
Xpeng says the 800-volt high-voltage platform means you can add 200km of range with just five minutes of charging at its new 480kW supercharging stations.
It has what Xpeng calls its ‘X robot’ front-end styling also seen on its other models. It features a similar front treatment to the Lucid Air EV.
Xpeng has not revealed any images of the G9’s interior, nor has it disclosed powertrain details like full driving range.
The Chinese brand set up shot in 2014 and has experienced rapid growth in its home market, selling about 10,000 units per month. It also has a corporate presence in the US where it eventually hopes to sell cars.