Xpeng, a Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer, is seeking to reduce costs and expedite the manufacturing and production process by switching to a digital vehicle architecture, similar to the one used by Tesla.

The Xpeng Smart Electric Platform Architecture 2.0

On Sunday, Xpeng introduced a new vehicle platform, the Smart Electric Platform(SEPA) 2.0, which according to the firm, is meant to lower the costs associated with the development and production of its forthcoming models.

The SEPA 2.0 model, which was revealed ahead of the Shanghai Auto Show, is built on the same foundation as the Model Y that Tesla has been developing for the past two years. It consists of front and rear integrated aluminum die casting that are joined in the middle by a sizable battery pack hence reinforcing the vehicle’s body structure and reducing its weight.

With this model, Brian Gu, the president of Xpeng, said by the end of 2024, the company will be able to cut costs for powertrain systems, including batteries, by 25% and those for intelligent driving systems by 50%.

Gu said the reduction in costs would offer the company a competitive edge in the market adding that “Since early this year…, a number of players have been launching aggressive price cuts. The focus on the capability of offering attractive products at affordable prices becomes even more important.”

As such, during the Shanghai Auto Show, the company unveiled the first car model to spot the SEPA 2.0 platform. The SUV, named G6, bears an uncanny resemblance in dimensions to Tesla’s Model Y and is expected to sell for just under $30,000, which is almost $10,000 less than the least expensive Model Y.

Xpeng sepa 2.o

However, according to industry expert Sandy Munro, the move by Xpeng is not unexpected. Munro said:

It’s obvious the design of the G6 came from the Model Y. This is not a surprise. Elon Musk has said he knows other companies are going to copy him.

Munro further states Xpeng’s streamlined vehicle platform design, which is essentially a three-piece chassis that is flexible and expandable, just like Model Y, reduces the need for parts, tools, development, and assembly time.

According to Xpeng, SEPA 2.0 is a “smart EV architecture” that combines a platform for data, software, and hardware called X-EEA with a new vehicle operating system called Xmart that uses software, sensors, and artificial intelligence to manage in-car services and operations. The manufacturer claims all components were created internally.

Therefore, a “smart manufacturing system” will be implemented at Xpeng’s factories in Zhaoqing and Guangzhou over the course of the following two years in order to create vehicles based on the new platform. SEPA 2.0 will be implemented across at least 10 future models, beginning in late 2024 with the new G6 SUV.

Electric Cars Under $30,000

According to a recent report by New York Times, the average price of an electric vehicle was $61,488, compared to $49,507 for all passenger cars and trucks. Therefore, Xpeng’s SEPA2.o comes as a relief to car owners as it is expected to be cheaper than the average EV.

With this new platform, Tesla, Xpeng, and other manufacturers will be able to recover profits damaged by recent price wars in China and other regions.

During the Tesla Investor Day in March, the company’s executives claimed that the new method would enable the business to drastically reduce its factory footprint and slash production costs in half if it is put into use at its new plant in Mexico early next year.

As such, Tesla anticipates that the manufacturing method it is developing around the new streamlined platform will allow it to release an electric vehicle for under $30,000 within the next two years

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