Xiaopeng Motors, a Chinese electric car startup who built a ‘Tesla clone’, is reportedly working on a massive financing round that would raise 17 billion yuan ($2.7 billion USD) in funds by the end of the year.
We published a report last year about how Xiaopeng Motors was building a vehicle heavily inspired by Tesla to the point that some are calling it a “Tesla clone.”
To be fair, Henry Xia, who founded the startup in 2014, admitted openly that he was influenced by Tesla and by the automaker’s announcement that they were open-sourcing their patents.
It’s not clear if the company uses any specific patent from Tesla, but we remarked last year that they built a battery pack technology very similar to Tesla’s.
The influence goes beyond the technology and it is also clearly present at the design level.
As we reported last year, The interior of the Xpeng, Xiaopeng’s first car, was modeled on Tesla’s Model S and Model X interior.
Here’s a side-by-side of Xiaopeng’s Xpeng interior and Tesla’s Model S interior:
The company also took several design cues from Tesla when it comes to the user interface.
Here’s Xiaopeng’s Xpeng instrument cluster next to Tesla’s Model S instrument cluster:
The vehicle’s battery pack will enable a range of ~300 km (186 miles) on a single charge and it will also feature similar autonomous and assisted driving features as Tesla’s Autopilot, according to the company.
Their effort recreating Tesla’s systems and building their own technology around it has already attracted important investors.
In January, they secured an important 2.2 billion yuan ($348 million) investment round led by two Chinese tech giants: Alibaba and Foxconn.
Following an appearance from Xia at the Boao Forum in China this week, news of a new round worth $2.7 billion has been reported in China by Deal Street Asia.
Xiaopeng Motors started low volume production last year and they expect to ramp up and bring the vehicle to market this year thanks to the last two rounds of investments.
This news comes just after another Chinese EV startup, Singulato Motors, reportedly raised $2.4 billion to bring electric SUVs to market.