Xpeng breaks out of a lower price range with its more expensive car G9

Xpeng has announced its most expensive car to date. Pictured here at a store in Shanghai, China, on July 2021 are two of Xpeng’s previously released models, a P7 Wing Limited Edition in green and a G3 SUV in blue.

Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

BEIJING — Chinese electric car start-up Xpeng has released its most expensive car to date, marking the company’s foray into a higher price range.

Shares of the automaker briefly fell by more than 15% in Hong Kong trading Thursday.

On Wednesday night, Xpeng announced its newest car, the G9 SUV, will be priced from 309,900 yuan ($44,270) to 469,000 yuan. Deliveries are set to begin in China in October, the company said.

The price range makes Xpeng’s latest car generally cheaper than new SUV offerings this fall from Nio and Li Auto. Nio’s ES7 sells for 468,000 yuan to 548,000 yuan, while Li Auto’s Li 9 lists a price of 459,800 yuan.

The G9 is also cheaper than Tesla’s Model Y, a mid-sized SUV that starts at 316,900 yuan.

However, Xpeng’s previous cars have been priced in a much lower range.

The company’s best-seller so far, the P7 sedan, costs between 239,900 yuan and 387,900 yuan depending on driving range. The company’s other sedan, the P5, can be bought for as low as 179,900 yuan.

Xpeng’s original SUV, which is now only available as an upgraded model called G3i, runs from 181,900 yuan to 201,900 yuan.

For comparison, within sedans, Nio’s sell for 328,000 yuan to 536,000 yuan. Tesla’s Model 3 starts at 279,900 yuan, after applicable subsidies.

BYD, the dominant local leader in China’s electric car market, sells in an even lower price range. The company’s popular Han sedan runs from 214,800 yuan, after subsidies, to 329,800 yuan.

In all, BYD’s Qin, Han and Dolphin cars made the top five best-selling new energy passenger cars in China for the first eight months of the year, according to the China Passenger Car Association. That list didn’t include SUVs.

Tesla’s Model 3 ranked sixth, while Xpeng’s P7 ranked 10th, the association data showed.

One of Xpeng’s selling points has been its assisted-driving software. This week, the company announced it is rolling out the latest version of the software — which covers urban situations in addition to highways — to some users in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.

In addition to assisted-driving software, the G9 features rapid battery charging and what Xpeng calls “an immersive 5D experience” within the car for watching movies and listening to music. The company claimed that after it revealed that in-car experience in August, it received more than 20,000 pre-orders for the G9 in the first 24 hours of reservations.

“We’re very confident this G9 will be a very popular SUV in its class,” Brian Gu, Xpeng president and honorary vice chairman, said in an interview with CNBC’s Eunice Yoon this week.

“We think the volume of G9 next year will exceed what we have achieved for P7, which makes it one of our top-selling vehicles,” he said.