XPeng, the Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker, has unveiled its new platform architecture, called Smart Electric Platform Architecture (SEPA) 2.0, aimed at reducing production costs and accelerating the development of future models. SEPA 2.0 is expected to shorten the research and development (R&D) cycle for upcoming models by 20% and reduce costs for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and smart infotainment systems by 70% and 85% respectively.
The modular and interchangeable vehicle platform will support a range of vehicle types, starting with XPeng’s upcoming G6 coupe SUV, set to debut at Auto Shanghai 2023. About 80% of the architectural components in each model will be compatible with future models, helping XPeng to expand its lineup without incurring significant costs.
This move comes amid a price war among EV makers in China, sparked by Tesla in October, when the company cut prices on its locally produced models. XPeng, along with other competitors like Nio, Volkswagen AG, Mercedes-Benz Group, and Ford Motor, followed suit, leading to disruptions in the Chinese auto market.
XPeng delivered 18,230 EVs in the first quarter of the year, a drop of nearly 50% year-over-year. The company hopes that the introduction of the new G6, along with other upcoming models, will help boost sales in 2023.
SEPA 2.0 incorporates front and rear integrated aluminum die casting technologies, similar to Tesla’s approach, to create single pieces of vehicle underbodies. The platform is compatible with various wheelbases and can support different vehicle types, from hatchbacks and sedans to multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs) and pickup trucks. The architecture also includes “Cell Integrated Body” technology, which integrates the battery pack into the car body, providing more cabin space, improved battery safety, and better driving performance.
XPeng also stated that SEPA 2.0 will enable its infotainment service, Xmart OS, to be available to all owners. Xmart OS is XPeng’s multi-sensor software and hardware intelligent cockpit, with a voice assistant as a key feature. The company claims that SEPA 2.0 will shorten the voice software R&D cycle by 50% and reduce the cost of the voice assistant service by 50%.
XPeng envisions SEPA 2.0 as a groundbreaking platform that will drive advancements in smart EV technology over the next three years, offering customers faster software upgrades, cost savings, and an elevated product experience.