Xpeng has announced its plan to accelerate the uptake of Smart EVs and their associated technologies through a new strategic partnership with DiDi, a China-focused mobility technology platform. A core element of this partnership is the acquisition of Didi’s Smart EV project by Xpeng in an all-stock deal worth around $744 million (c. €684 million).

The partnership will ultimately support the launch of an all-new EV brand from Xpeng in 2024, currently being developed under the project name ‘MONA’. Through the MONA project, the OEM will look to expand its presence in the mass market segment – with EVs targeting a price range of RMB150,000 ($20,576 / €18,928) – while accelerating the adoption of Smart EVs and technologies within the segment. An A-class Smart EV model expected to launch in 2024 will be the first vehicle from new brand, which will be differentiated from other Xpeng-branded products as well as the main Xpeng brand. For the MONA project, DiDi will provide the OEM with support through its mobility ecosystem and access to its nationwide shared mobility market.

More broadly, Xpeng and DiDi will explore additional opportunities for strategic cooperation in numerous areas. Here, the agreement will allow Xpeng to benefit from comprehensive support enabled by DiDi’s ecosystem. Together, the companies will look to explore new initiatives in marketing, financial and insurance services, charging, Robotaxi, and international market expansion. The partnership’s collaborative exploration of the robotaxi sector follows DiDi announcing its own plans to self-develop and launch a robotaxi. The company’s self-driving hardware platform, Gemini, has likewise gained momentum internationally, having been integrated into a series of XC90 EVs in a 2021 robotaxi partnership with Volvo Cars. Gemini itself runs on the Nvidia DRIVE Pegasus AI computer with 700TOPS of performance, includes up to 50 high-resolution sensors, and was designed using Didi Chuxing’s database of ride-hailing data and real-world data from autonomous driving tests.

Xpeng has said that it will issue Class A ordinary shares, representing approximately 3.25% of the company’s outstanding share capital, to acquire the assets related to DiDi’s Smart EV project. The transaction will likewise see DiDi become a strategic shareholder of Xpeng, with a lock-up period of 24 months after the initial closing. Furthermore, the agreement between will further establish performance-based incentive mechanisms based on the mass production of MONA vehicles and sales volume targets to be fulfilled by DiDi.