The battle for market share in the world’s largest electric car market is intensifying at an unprecedented rate. In a bid to sway buyers away from Tesla, fledging electric carmaker Xpeng has announced that pricing for its P5 sedan will start from as low as 160,000 yuan (RM104k), the South China Morning Post reports.

The announcement comes just days after Tesla revealed a shorter-range Model Y that’s priced at 276,000 yuan (RM180k). That’s a 20% discount (approximately 71,900 yuan, or RM47k cheaper) compared to the standard range Model Y.

Xpeng, a company backed by Alibaba Group Holding said there will be six variants of the P5 on sale, with prices ranging from 160,000 yuan (RM104k) to 230,000 yuan (RM150k) after subsidies. Out of those, four will be fitted with LiDAR, a cutting-edge tech which Tesla CEO Elon Musk previously labelled as a “fool’s errand” due to the high cost of implementation.

Yiyou Auto Service sales manager, Tian Maowei said Xpeng’s pricing structure “targets a wide range of customers and it appears to be attractive to those middle-income earners looking to own a smart EV. The customer base for EVs priced below 200,000 yuan (RM130k) is huge in China.”

Of all the electric vehicles sold globally in 2020, China contributed a whopping 45.3% (1.2 million units; 6.3% of the total passenger vehicles), an equivalent of 3.7 times the total number of EVs sold in the US. Swiss bank UBS said this number is growing 34% every year to 4.2 million units in 2025, at which every one of four cars sold in China will be a battery-electric vehicle.

As for Xpeng, it delivered 29 units of EVs in its first production year in 2018, before selling 12,728 vehicles in 2019, 27,041 units in 2020. In the first quarter of 2021, it sold 13,340 fully electric cars.