Chinese Tesla rival Xpeng launches its mass market P5 electric car in Europe

Key Points
  • Xpeng has started taking pre-orders for its mass market P5 electric sedan in Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden as it continues its aggressive European expansion.
  • The European version of the P5 will be different to the China model with a less-sophisticated version of the Xpilot semi-autonomous driving system and no Lidar.
  • Xpeng is also expanding its physical retail presence in Europe with a store in the Netherlands.

In this article

Xpeng Motors launches the P5 sedan at an event in Guangzhou, China on April 14, 2021. The P5 is Xpeng's third production model and features so-called Lidar technology.
Arjun Kharpal | CNBC

Xpeng has started taking pre-orders on its mass market P5 electric sedan in four European countries as the Chinese rival to Tesla continues its aggressive international expansion.

The P5, which was first revealed nearly a year ago in China, can be reserved by customers in Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden from Thursday, via Xpeng's mobile app and website.

Xpeng has been pushing into Europe over the last year. In August, it began shipments of its flagship P7 sedan to Norway, its first international market.

Last month, the Guangzhou-headquartered company opened its first self-operated store outside of China in the Swedish capital of Stockholm. On Thursday, Xpeng said it plans to open another store in the Netherlands.

The European version of the P5 is slightly different to the one released in China. Firstly, it will be equipped with Xpilot 2.5, Xpeng's advanced driver-assistance system, or ADAS. This refers to a driving software system with some autonomous features but where a driver is still required. Xpilot 2.5 is a slightly older version of the software than what the company is rolling out to customers in China this year.

Xpeng's European P5 will also not have Lidar technology, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging. Lidar systems can help a car measure distance and create a three dimensional representation of the vehicle's surroundings. Lidar is a key technology behind more advanced autonomous features. However, Xpilot 2.5 does not require Lidar to work.

Xpeng has tried to differentiate from its rivals by focusing on in-house developed autonomous driving features and other technology. It is hoping those features will be attractive to European consumers as the shift toward electric vehicles continues and competition ramps up.