Growing demand for electric vehicles (EVs) and a lack of quality options in Australia have been the catalyst for Xpeng to launch locally, according to the Chinese brand’s local distributor.

    Last month, Chinese EV startup Xpeng announced it would make its Australian berth in the fourth quarter of 2024 with the Tesla Model Y-sized G6 electric SUV, joining an ever-expanding list of brands wanting to capitalise on local demand.

    Australian startup TrueEV has been appointed as Xpeng’s local importer, distributor and retailer, currently gearing up to launch the G6 within the next handful of weeks.

    While there’s increasing competition among Chinese EV makers in Australia, with brands like Zeekr and Leapmotor also arriving in the near future, TrueEV CEO Jason Clarke told CarExpert there still remains a gap in the market for quality battery-powered cars at a good price.

    “The number of brands that you see in the market, although there’s a few new ones, the total car sales for EVs are dominated by Tesla, with BYD second. There are a few new brands coming in, whether they’re all the same is to be seen,” Mr Clarke said.

    “But having researched 120 [brands of Chinese EVs] and a short list of only seven really good ones, I think we’ve landed on a great one. I put Xpeng at the top of the list of quality manufactured and designed EVs. 

    “I think there’s plenty of room for these vehicles in the marketplace when the EV penetration is so low. We think there’s going to be an explosion of EV sales. The choice hasn’t been great. The choice is about to get really good.”

    Last year, 87,217 EVs were sold in Australia, besting the previous year’s record of 33,410 by more than 160 per cent, though battery-powered vehicles only accounted for just under 7.5 per cent of the new car market.

    EV sales have continued to climb this year, with 31,662 deliveries between January and April (32.3 per cent above the same period last year), enough to tip the technology above the eight per cent marker for overall new car sales.

    However, April was the first month in which year-on-year sales of EVs decreased since November 2020, with registrations dropping by about five per cent compared to the same month in 2023.

    This isn’t a concern for TrueEV or Mr Clarke, who sees EV sales rising to account for up to 30 per cent of the new car market within a handful of years.

    “If you look at Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and to a lesser extent, Beijing, where the EV penetration is up over 50 per cent, air quality indexes are excellent, cities are peaceful and they’re been completely transformed,” Mr Clarke said. 

    “So we have a long, long way to go. To reach quality air quality standards, emission standards, we think that EV sales ratio is going to go from eight per cent to more like 16 per cent double within two years, and then go from 16 per cent to 30 per cent probably in a year.

    “Whether or not it ever reaches 50 per cent or more, who knows?” 

    TrueEV is due to release more information about its local Xpeng G6 lineup including pricing within the next two months, ahead of deliveries slated to begin in October.

    MORE: China’s Xpeng coming to Australia to take on Tesla
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    Jordan Mulach

    Born and raised in Canberra, Jordan has worked as a full-time automotive journalist since 2021, being one of the most-published automotive news writers in Australia before joining CarExpert in 2024.

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