This new electric SUV arrives in Europe but forgets an essential element

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The Chinese manufacturer Xpeng has chosen to remove the LiDAR sensor from its new G9 SUV, which has just arrived in Europe. A strategy to reduce costs, and stay in the race against Tesla, which recently made a significant price drop. We explain how this changes in practice.

It’s been more than a month since Tesla declared a price war on electric cars and it continues to impact its main rivals. And specifically from the Chinese firm Xpeng, which little by little begins to invade the European market. In fact, the manufacturer, founded in 2014 and based in Canton, has significantly lowered the price of its P5 and P7, as well as its G3 SUV. But it may not stop there.

one less feature

In fact, the Chinese firm, a rival of BYD or even Nio, will also address its brand new G9, a large electric SUV presented last September. A newcomer to the catalog located between the Tesla Model Y and the Model X in terms of size and showing a higher price than the first. But that could change eventually, all month, in the European market.

In fact, the journalists of the site automotive news inform us that the new G9 will finally do without its LiDAR sensor in the version that will be marketed in the Old Continent. Information confirmed by Martin Stegelmeier, Product Planning Manager for Europe. He claims, in effect, that this type of technology is extremely expensive.

And for good reason, this sensor, which is found in several high-end models like the Mercedes EQS, Nio ET7, Lotus Eletre and other Volvo EX90s, is very expensive. That is why only vehicles with a premium or even luxury positioning have them. The spokesperson for the brand explains that ” we want to be at the forefront of ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) for European car manufacturers, but we also need competitive prices. With lidar, we couldn’t do that.« .

An easily understandable strategy, even if it means that the electric SUV will be less efficient in terms of autonomous driving on the Old Continent. Because at the moment, the use of a LiDAR is almost essential to reach level 3, authorized in Europe since last summer. For now, only Mercedes offers this technology here, while Tesla has equipped its models with FSD (full self-driving), still in beta testing in the United States. This then dispenses with LiDAR and will eventually be based on cameras and radars with the new HW4 software.

Precisely, in China, the Xpeng G9 has the NGP function, a competitor to Tesla’s FSD, which allows autonomous driving in urban areas.

Towards a price drop?

Currently, the Xpeng P9 debuts from 57,990 euros in the Netherlands, although it has not yet started its commercialization in France. A price that could change with us, in particular due to slightly different taxation. But in any case, you should not take advantage of the ecological bonus of 5,000 euros, only reserved for cars under 47,000 euros.

However, with the retirement of LiDAR, the brand can take advantage of lower production costs to reduce the price of your SUV. Unless you prefer to do like Ford and increase your profits. Be that as it may, this G9 is still more expensive than the Tesla Model Y, which debuts as a reminder from 46,990 euros. Therefore, you can for your part claim help from the government.

But the Chinese manufacturer is not the only one that wants to reduce the price of its vehicles from the drop of up to 13,000 euros that Tesla operates. This is also the case for VinFast, Lucid, Ford, Nissan and Toyota in China. Other brands refuse to play this little game, such as Renault, which explains there is no scope to reduce the price of their cars without hurting their profits. This should change with the adoption of smaller batteries.

As a reminder, the Xpeng G9 leaves the choice between the 78 and 98 kWh packswhile the manufacturer claims that it is possible go from 10 to 80% in just 15 minutes at a power of 300 kW thanks to an 800 volt architecture. Thus, it surpasses the Kia EV6, Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Hyundai Ioniq 6, which take 18 minutes to fill the battery up to 80%. The Chinese electric SUV also claims a range of between 570 and 702 according to the Chinese CLTC cycle, and up to 570 kilometers in WLTP cycle.

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