From testing autonomous vehicles in the U.S. to building an independent plant in China, Guangzhou-based Xpeng may be about to make another big move.
The six-year-old electric carmaker, often described as a Tesla wannabe, is making preparations for an initial public offering (IPO) in the U.S., where it has gained the green light to perform closed-loop self-driving tests for its long-range P7 sedan, according to the South China Morning Post, citing a source close to the matter.
The report, which did not provide details about how much money Xpeng plans to raise, comes as China’s cash-strapped electric vehicle startups are desperately seeking fresh capital to bankroll their expansion as sales of new energy cars in the country are taking a hit partly due to government subsidy cuts.
An Xpeng representative declined to comment on the report when approached on Wednesday.
In May, Xpeng surprised industry peers when it received a production license from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) for its new wholly owned factory in the southern Chinese city of Zhaoqing, where it will independently build its electric cars including the newly launched P7 electric sports sedan.
Xpeng’s last funding round took place in November, when it raised $400 million from investors including electronics giant Xiaomi, which is accelerating its push to connect its Internet of Things (IoT)-driven services to smart battery-powered cars. Xpeng is also backed by Alibaba.
Contact reporter Ding Yi (firstname.lastname@example.org)