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Chinese start-up Xpeng gets $350M funding

by Ronan Glon

Alibaba and Foxconn are both investing in the project.

China can't seem to stop churning out electric crossovers built by start-up brands no one has heard of before. The newest model in the series is the Xpeng G3.

The name Xpeng probably doesn't sound familiar, and odds are you've never seen the G3 before even though it broke cover last month at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). It's a serious project, though. The brand has been testing prototypes since 2016, according to , and it has successfully raised nearly a billion dollars to make its car a reality.

E-commerce giant Alibaba and Foxconn, the brand that makes Apple's iPhone, have both invested a significant amount of money into Xpeng. Notably, the company recently received $350 million to start production of the G3 (pictured) before the end of the year. Sales will begin in China, where production will take place, but the company could expand to other markets like Europe and the United States in the coming years.

Xpeng hasn't released technical details yet. Motor Authority reports the crossover will get a 190-horsepower electric motor, up to 186 miles of range, and a top speed of 105 mph. Pricing will start in the vicinity of $40,000.

When it arrives this spring, the Xpeng G3 will compete in the same burgeoning segment as and the . Mainstream auto-makers like Volkswagen and Nissan will join the segment in the coming years, too.

What's in a name?

Xpeng didn't choose the name G3 randomly, the company in a statement.

"G is for geek, and the number 3 is for its category. Since its foundation, the name of the car has been designed to appeal to a younger demographic, and to express a "geek" lifestyle that includes an attitude of both exploration and innovation," according to Xpeng.

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