Xpeng unveils new vehicle platform that will shorten R&D cycle by 20%

Peng Chen, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

Xpeng released its latest vehicle architecture SEPA 2.0 on April 16. Credit: Xpeng

China-based EV company Xpeng released its latest vehicle architecture, Smart Electric Platform Architecture 2.0 (SEPA 2.0), on April 16. It said the system will shorten future models' R&D cycle by 20% and halve R&D costs with self-developed electrical and electronic architecture, X-EEA.

Xpeng said it will first apply SEPA 2.0 to the G6 SUV, scheduled to debut at the Shanghai auto show on April 18. He Xiaopeng, the company's chairman and CEO, said the new vehicle architecture will optimize Xpeng's R&D efficiency by reducing future models' R&D cycle by 20%. It also enables 80% of architectural components to be compatible with all new models.

According to an announcement, SEPA 2.0 is equipped with Xpeng's X-EEA to lower R&D costs for a vehicle by 50%, shorten software iteration cycles by 30% and increase over-the-air update speed by three times.

Xpeng said the new architecture is adaptable to multiple vehicle platforms that support sedans, coupes, hatchbacks, SUVs and many other cars.

Reuters reported that Brian Gu, Xpeng's president, said SEPA 2.0 can help the carmaker cut costs of powertrain systems and intelligent driving systems by 25% and 50%, respectively, by the end of 2024.

As China's vehicle price war continues, the architecture's ability to achieve cost optimization is critical to Xpeng.

According to the company, under SEPA 2.0, vehicles will be based on the first 800-volt high-voltage silicon carbide (SiC) platform entering mass production in China. It said EVs will be able to achieve 200km with five minutes of charging at Xpeng's superfast charging stations.

Xpeng said SEPA 2.0 boasts China's only mass-produced front and rear integrated aluminum die-casting technology. With the technology, the number of vehicle body components shrank to 161, which reduced the weight by 17% compared with traditional bodies. The EV maker also said the integrated technology can improve a car's torsional rigidity by 83% and enhance safety.

As for battery architecture, Xpeng said SEPA 2.0 adopts the Cell Integrated Body (CIB), which uses the battery pack's top cover as the floor of a vehicle body. The practice will help the company save 5% of vertical space in a car.

Xpeng saw the launch of SEPA 2.0 as a turning point of accelerating development to create technological advantages. It plans to upgrade existing Zhaoqing and Guangzhou plants and future factories gradually to adopt the new vehicle architecture.