What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Norway?
Snow? Of course.
How about Ikea? No. That’s Swedish.
Electric cars? Hmm. No, definitely not.
But wait. Let’s not be so hasty.
Because when you think of Norway, you should definitely think of electric cars.
The Future is Clean and Green in Norway
You see, our Norwegian cousins are going crazy for electric cars. Since 2010, their government has been aggressively promoting electric vehicles with a favourable tax regime and other benefits. The country also has a target to end the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2025. In fact the sale of electric vehicles in Norway overtook the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles for the first time in 2020.
And so maybe that’s why the world’s electric vehicle manufacturers are turning to Norwegian drivers before others in Europe to sell their latest electric vehicle creations.
The XPeng G3
The new Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer, Xpeng, is a case in point. It started delivering its first smart electric vehicle, the G3, to Norwegian customers in December 2020. The President of Xpeng, Dr Brian Gu, claims the Scandinavian country has “one of the best infrastructures for EV” as well as “very familiar user experiences for EV products”.
But electric vehicles are becoming increasingly common across the world. What makes Xpeng’s G3 so special? So worthy of an article in Motor Verso?
Technological innovation is the answer that Xpeng will give you. The G3 features an advanced “XPILOT 2.5” driver assistance programme as well as an auto parking function that can distinguish between “marked and unmarked parking spaces” and “parallel and vertical parking spaces”. Although “vertical parking spaces” does sound as if you’re parking up the side of a cliff.
But Careful of the Autopilot
The XPILOT will drive the car for you by taking control of your speed, steering and safety. Theoretically, you can take your hands off the steering wheel when the autopilot function is activated. But the manufacturers are rightly jittery. If you attempt to drive hands-free, the sensors on the steering wheel will react by shutting down the autopilot and preventing you from turning it back on for the rest of the journey. Sounds like punishment beatings.
The auto parking system is more conventional and will allow you to park hands-free. In other areas the G3 is technologically advanced too with a voice assistant, “intelligent” navigation and remote app control.
Modern Inside and Out
The interior and exterior of the G3 are sleek and modern. The front end vaguely resembles the Aston Martin DBX’s which Motor Verso covered last month. A large tablet dominates the dashboard while a soaring panoramic windscreen stretches over and above the driver and front passenger.
The Key Stats
The car’s official range extends to between 450km and 520km depending on which measurement you use. And charging takes around 30 minutes to fill up from 30 per cent to 80 per cent of battery capacity.
But perhaps the selling point, as with so many Chinese products, is the cost. Prices start at just 358 Norwegian krone or about £30,000. An affordable luxury SUV.
All this is really rather impressive considering Xpeng was only established in 2015. But are we just too used to buying Fords, Peugeots and Volkswagens to start buying Chinese cars? Who do you know who drives a Chinese car? Well, if the G3 comes to Britain, it just might be you.