Brian Gu, the president and vice chairman of Xpeng, said that his company planned to reduce the cost of building a powertrain — primarily the battery and electric motor — by 25 percent by the end of the year. Powertrains, particularly the batteries, represent about two-fifths of Xpeng’s overall cost of building an electric car.
The Rise of Electric Vehicles
Ashwani Gupta, the chief operating officer of Nissan, one-upped Xpeng, saying that his company’s latest designs would cut powertrain costs by 30 percent. Shohei Yamazaki, the chairman of Nissan’s China investments subsidiary, said that Nissan would rely heavily on Chinese suppliers.
“Price competition in China is very fierce right now,” he said.
Chinese brands have adopted unusual electric car designs while foreign companies and their Chinese joint ventures have played it safe. The wheels are nearly at the corners of the Chinese brand cars, an architecture that also allows more room for batteries under the floor in the middle. Nio and Xpeng have chosen sleek designs, while Changan, based in western China, is making cars so rectangular that they look faintly Cubist.