Xpeng, one of the most known Chinese New Energy Vehicle startups, announced this month that its own-brand charging network across China has more than 1,000 stations.
According to the company, the number of stations reached 1,140, spanning 164 Chinese cities.
In total there are more than 19,000 individual stalls, but this number includes both normal AC and fast DC chargers. Access to those charging points is free for life to Xpeng's customers (the company is clearly using similar tactics as Tesla did in the early days).
"XPeng is the first new EV maker in China to offer free lifetime charging services for its customers, demonstrating its strong commitment to popularizing smart EVs by providing easy access to free charging facilities, enhancing customer experience and increasing EV user convenience."
One of the latest installation is along Sichuan – Tibet expressway, where Xpeng deployed 13 stations:
" Last week, XPeng launched another 13 charging stations along the 2,250 km Sichuan – Tibet expressway. XPeng customers now have access to its free charging facilities every 170 km along this scenic route, from 500 meters to 4,100 meters above sea level. "
This year the company intends to expand the network to 200 cities, "covering a broader range of locations, including highways and airports."
We guess that if customers value access to a convenient and free charging network, the idea to build those kinds of networks, especially in the early stage (like the first 10 or even 20 years) might be a good strategy.
Tesla has decided to go this route first and continues at a faster and faster pace - recently reaching 25,000 DC charging stalls globally. The significantly smaller Xpeng still has a far way to go to match Tesla's scale.