EV Maker XPeng set to hire 4,000 Employees to Boost AI

XPeng plans mass hire as part of a million-dollar investment into artificial intelligence (AI), hoping to seize a growth opportunity in a slowing EV market

In its tenth year, electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer XPeng is continuing to push the boundaries of automotive AI.

Guangzhou Xiaopeng Motors Technology Co. Ltd., doing business as XPeng Motors, has said that it will hire 4,000 new employees in 2024 and invest millions into AI as it seeks to survive what it describes as a “bloody sea” of competition in the global automotive electric evolution. 

The additional staff would represent a 25% expansion of the company’s workforce, from having 15,829 employees at the end of 2022.

Additionally, the company will invest 3.5 billion yuan (US$486.36m) in AI research and development for intelligent driving.

Investing in AI amid a slowing EV market

The EV industry within China is currently very competitive, amid a price war with automotive manufacturer Tesla dominating the market. The country boasts the world’s largest automotive and EV market, with sales of battery-powered cars making up 60% of the global total.

Forbes reports that, despite huge growth in adoption rates, the EV industry is being impacted by rising costs - making their cars expensive for buyers - in addition to growing technological constraints.

With this in mind, XPeng is working on its internal expansion efforts in order to boost AI. As reported by Reuters, Chairman and CEO He Xiaopeng says that the company plans to release roughly 30 new products or revised models within the next three years.

As the EV manufacturing market begins to slow down, amid lessening demand, XPeng sees this as the ideal time to invest further in AI. The company already has AI tools for its vehicles, including a driver assistance system called XPilot, which allows its cars to carry out some functions semi-autonomously. 

The all-scenario intelligent voice assistant can adapt to all types of voice requests, providing the user with a hands-free experience that completely suits them. Likewise, the XPeng voice assistant is able to respond to a maximum of ten commands per 25 seconds.

XPeng’s voice assistant can also adopt human-like behaviour and speech patterns to provide users with an advanced AI experience that mimics a real conversation.

Increasing competition in the global EV market

Backed by leading automobile manufacturer Volkswagen, XPeng is on its way to becoming one of the leading mainstream providers in the People’s Republic of China. In July 2023, Volkswagen announced that it would be investing US$700m in XPeng, purchasing a 4.99% stake in the company. 

Volkswagen is also collaborating with XPeng to develop two Volkswagen-brand electric models for the Chinese market in 2026.

During a time of mass global digital transformation, the EV industry would do well to reap the benefits of AI and utilise it to improve customer experience.

Globally, AI can work to optimise energy consumption in the EV industry. It works to adjust power usage to maximise efficiencies through real-time analysis of driving conditions, traffic and weather. In addition to reducing carbon footprint, it also works to increase driving range.

“Facing the pessimistic macroeconomic situation, many business partners are drawing back and afraid to invest. I think this is an opportunity for our development,” he says, describing 2024 as the first year of the “knockout round” for Chinese auto brands.

“In 2024, we will buck the trend and enter a high-speed positive cycle in the fourth quarter or earlier.”

In October 2023, XPeng achieved a record number of car deliveries, delivering more than 20,000 cars in a month, after previously struggling to keep sales up. 

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