Xpeng (XPEV) unveiled its P5 electric car, touting it as the world’s first mass-produced EV equipped with lidar sensors. Xpeng stock sharply turned lower.
The P5 marks the Chinese EV startup’s third production vehicle and second electric sedan. It is “the world’s first production smart EV equipped with automotive-grade LIDAR technology,” Xpeng said in a release.
Some Wall Street analysts regard the emerging Tesla (TSLA) rival as an early leader in autonomous driving.
“Each new Xpeng model aims for a new high in technology, and the P5 is our most advanced and technically ambitious model yet,” said CEO He Xiaopeng.
Lidar technology uses pulsed laser light bouncing off objects to gauge their position, shape and distance. Lidar is expected to become a core self-driving technology, helping driverless vehicles “see” both static and moving objects on the roads, even in challenging weather and lighting conditions.
The P5 will be shown at Auto Shanghai 2021 on April 19. It will be priced lower than the P7 and roll out to customers in China in Q3 or Q4 this year, Xpeng told CNBC.
Among other EV stocks, China’s Nio (NIO) fell 3.8% and Li Auto (LI) lost 3.3%. Tesla (TSLA) eased 4% and Ford (F), which opened orders for its locally made Mustang Mach-E all-electric SUV Tuesday, added 0.3%.
In 2020, Xpeng announced the P5 at the Guangzhou auto show. Founded roughly five years ago, the EV startup is challenging Tesla in China with its “smart EVs” featuring highly autonomous driving and other advanced technologies.
It already sells two EVs, the G3 SUV and the P7 sedan, mainly in China.
Along with Chinese EV peers Nio and Li Auto, Xpeng scored blowout EV sales last year.
By 2024, Xpeng expects to have a lineup of seven to eight models, management previously told Reuters.
China EV stocks remain in a bear market. XPeng stock is roughly 50% off its high.
Find Aparna Narayanan on Twitter at @IBD_Aparna.
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