At this month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Chinese-funded electric car startup Byton debuted its first vehicle. But Byton wasn’t the only new Chinese-backed at the show. Xiaopeng Motors also debuted its first production model at the show, and now it has $350 million in financial backing from two big-name corporations.
On Monday, Xiaopeng announced it closed on a $347.7 million funding round that included investments from tech giant Alibaba Group and Taiwanese electronics supplier Foxconn Technology. That brings the company’s total funding to date to roughly $790 million, reports Reuters
Xiaopeng joins an already-crowded field of EV startups vying to accomplish the difficult task of actually building a car. At CES, the company quietly debuted its production model called the G3, a crossover-looking thing that has some unique characteristics.
The car apparently comes with “Star Wars-inspired headlights” that resemble light sabres; another standout includes a windshield that extends to the roof, offering a full view of the sky.
The interior has a striking similarity to Tesla’s Model S (the big whopper of a touchscreen in the center) and a Model X (the big windshield), but Xiaopeng thinks it can get this car into customer’s hands at a far-cheaper premium than Tesla’s offerings.
The G3's expected to go on sale later this year, and when it does, it’s expected to be priced around $47,440, reports the South China Morning Post. That puts it in line with Audi’s Q3 and the BMW X1. Tesla’s Model X starts around $118,000 in China, according to the Morning Post.
Competing startups like NIO and (reportedly) Faraday Future recently netted $1 billion in funding, emphasizing just how competitive the EV market has become. At the very least, it looks like Xiaopeng has an interesting looking crossover on its hands. A nice change, considering the really boring looks we’ve seen in recent months.