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China Electric-Car Gold Rush Lures Hopefuls as Tesla Push Looms

Dec 13, 2018

The gold rush that is China’s electric-car market is getting its latest entrant as a slew of local manufacturers fight for a foothold ahead of Tesla Inc.’s planned offensive.

Xpeng Motors started deliveries of its first commercial model on Wednesday, four years after its founding by entrepreneur He Xiaopeng and partners in Guangzhou, southern China. The G3 sport utility vehicle gives Xpeng instant credibility and revenue, while hundreds of other startups are still working on their prototypes and competing for investors’ funds.


At stake is a market that is set to balloon to hundreds of billions of dollars in the coming decades as China’s government promotes greener vehicles at the expense of gas guzzlers. Local brands are trying to gain relevance and secure their survival before Elon Musk’s Tesla starts building cars in Shanghai next year and global giants from Volkswagen AG to Ford Motor Co. flood the market with their locally produced electrified models.

“Very few can succeed,” He said in an interview in Guangzhou. “Xpeng is very likely to be one of the few.”