Chinese electric vehicle company Xpeng Motors revealed that its upcoming Xpeng P7 sports sedan received an import permit for research purposes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation last week.
Xpeng has also received a renewed Autonomous Vehicles Testing Permit from the Department of Motor Vehicles of the California State Transportation Agency. With these qualifications, the EV maker can test its P7 model on public roads in California.
“Testing on the roads in the U.S. will supplement the tremendous amount of tests we’ve already done in China. It’s another step forward for our closed-loop R&D approach to autonomous driving, including developing full-scenario vehicle perception capabilities, positioning, planning, decision-making, testing and upgrading. This is the only way to maintain our long-term competitive advantage,” said Dr. Xinzhou Wu, vice president of autonomous driving at Xpeng Motors.
The Xpeng P7, with a driving range of 706 km under the New European Driving Cycle standards, was verified earlier this month by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China (MIIT) to have the longest range among EVs sold in China. By comparison, the long-range Tesla Model 3 was rated at 668 km by the MIIT.
The company also said the P7 had completed its 120-day winter test in February under -35°C temperature conditions at the Red River Valley Automotive Test Center in northern China.
It’s expected that Xpeng will launch the P7 and start deliveries in the second quarter of 2020.