Just days after Tesla has doubled down on its lawsuit against Chinese EV manufacturer, Xpeng, their new P7 has been highlighted in an interview with Fully Charged’s Robert Llewellyn. Naturally, the internet mob has caught on, and the drama has intensified.
Over a year ago, Tesla accused an ex-engineer of downloading the source code for their Autopilot system, before heading off to work at Xpeng, also known as Xiaopeng. The allegation of corporate espionage has been seconded by Apple, who had one of their engineers leave for Xpeng under similar circumstances. Of course, XPeng still denies these allegations.
Now, despite the obvious comparison between the Model 3 and the P7, the interview very cordially discussed the advantages of Xpeng’s newest model (their previous model, the G3, has sold upwards of 16k units) including its 439-mile range. They didn’t delve into any potentially turbulent areas, including the recent updates on the lawsuit, or XPeng’s statement to Bloomberg last week.
Tesla’s latest demands crossed the line, seeking to rummage through our IP on Tesla’s terms — and smearing us along the way with misrepresentations and innuendo. Tesla’s attempt to tie the two Chinese engineers together is ‘peddling speculation and stereotypes.’
Of course, it is interesting to see Robert talk to Dr Brian Gu, President of Xpeng Motors, about this otherwise exciting vehicle. The touchless interface and curiously long range are both of interest to consumers outside of China, where the vehicles will not be made available. It does seem that Fully Charged is reserving to pass judgement, and operating in good faith to their viewership.
However, Twitter reacted with anger over the platforming of Xpeng, which many see as a nefarious company, at least until the allegations against them are cleared up. Of course, the sources of the allegation are intertwined with any search of Xiaopeng done online, since that is the most talked-about aspect of their company in western media.
This poses one of the more interesting situations in the EV circles; does the greater good of getting the world off of petrol, justify the promotion or coverage of some of the less credible EV brands?