China-based EV maker XPeng signed a strategic agreement with local mobility companies Xiaolinggou Travel Technology and China Auto Rental on January 9. The trio has brought XPeng's P7 model to car rental markets in five major cities in China.
The EV company just announced on January 5 the latest over-the-air update on P7, which features an enhanced navigation system.
For the three-party collaboration, Xiaolinggou will be responsible for the purchase of P7 and China Auto Rental will rent out the cars on its platform, according to an announcement.
XPeng said it has delivered vehicles to Hangzhou, Chengdu, Wuhan, Changsha and Nanjing. The cars are available for customers. Those in Guangzhou can also access the EV before the Chinese New Year at the end of this month.
According to China Auto Rental's website, the company was founded in 2007 in Beijing. It has built a large fleet with close to 110,000 cars running in 300 cities in China.
Xiaolinggou, established in 2018, focuses on new energy vehicle (NEV) rental. The service provider is backed by Geely Technology Group and other prominent companies. It operates in Ningbo, Nanjing and 80 other cities in China with 98,000 NEVs.
Wang Tong, XPeng's vice president, said the company looks forward to expanding the partnership with Xiaolinggou and China Auto Rental. It plans to explore more opportunities around mobility services, including charging and after-service.
XPeng delivered 120,757 EVs in 2022, a 23% increase from the previous year. But it fell behind Li Auto's 133,246 and Nio's 122,486 cars in 2022. The three China-based EV makers are often seen as direct competitors.
According to CnEVPost, while entering the rental market might affect XPeng's brand image, it will help the company grow P7's market share and potentially accelerate the facelift for the car.
XPeng's partnership with Xiaolinggou and China Auto Rental came six months after cooperation with eHi Car Services, also a China-based car rental company. Hundreds of XPeng vehicles were delivered to eHi and put into operation in seven cities last summer.