XPeng vs Nio: China’s Top Electric Vehicle Brands Compared

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XPeng vs Nio: China’s Top Electric Vehicle Brands Compared

Key Points:
  • XPeng and Nio are highly successful EV manufacturers in China. Nio has diversified into other profitable ventures such as Nio Power and Nio Life.
  • Nio has far more vehicles on the road and extensive plans to add even more, but XPeng had the better sales in 2021.
  • Nio has a much higher market cap, 20 billion dollars more than XPeng. Also, Nio has popular and highly successful battery swap stations throughout China (and soon to be Europe).

As if the electric vehicle (EV) market wasn’t hot enough as it is, a whole other market is booming in China. Forget about Tesla, Ford, or GM‘s EVs. Overseas, it’s all about XPeng vs Nio. It’s quite likely neither one of these two names rings a bell. That’s because none is relevant to the average American. However, in China, the XPeng and Nio brands are as popular as the Tesla name here in the States. What is it about these cars that can compete with Tesla, though?

Let’s compare XPeng vs Nio, starting with a side-by-side comparison, go over some must-know facts about XPeng and Nio, and look at their respective overviews and histories. That’s the only way to determine which brand is better: XPeng or Nio.

XPeng vs Nio: Side by Side Comparison

FounderXia Heng and He TaoWilliam Li
Date Founded20142014
HeadquartersGuangzhou, ChinaShanghai, China
Vehicle(s)P7, P5, G3i, G9EP9, ES8, ES6, EC6, ET7
Growth78% year-over-year increase (May 2022)28.6% year-over-year decline (April 2022)
Market Cap15.92 billion (August 2022)35.71 billion (August 2022)
Other Key FiguresHe Xiaopeng (Chairman);
Brian Gu Hongdi (Vice Chairman)
Lihong Qin (President); Wei Feng (CFO)
Available in America?NoNo

XPeng vs Nio: 5 Must-Know Facts

NIO ES6, like the one pictured, was the first SUV in the world to feature both permanent magnet and induction motors.

©Michael Vi/Shutterstock.com

  • Nio has four upcoming vehicles expected to hit the market soon. There’s the EF9, a minivan, the ES3 and the ES7, both SUVs, and the ET5, a sedan. XPeng, on the other hand, has not been nearly as forward about future model plans.
  • Looking beyond the EV market, Nio is currently in the process of developing a smartphone division.
  • As of 2020, Nio had established over 140 battery swap stations in more than 60 cities in China. It takes less than five minutes to perform a battery swap.
  • Chinese consumers looking to purchase an electric vehicle have more than just XPeng and Nio to choose from. Li Auto, GAC, Chery and BYD are other options.
  • XPeng’s P7 was the 12th best-selling electric vehicle in China in 2021. Nio didn’t make the top 15.

XPeng vs Nio: Key Differences

While Tesla might be the dominant force in America’s EV market, XPeng and Nio are the two forces to be reckoned with in China. Both brands are highly successful EV manufacturers in China. Neither brand has managed to outsell Tesla in China, but they can be Tesla’s top competitor. Nio has diversified into other profitable ventures, such as Nio Power and Nio Life.

EV lineup

Nio, like Xpeng, has four vehicles on the market. Plans for both could be coming down the pipeline sooner rather than later. While Nio and XPeng have great sales figures, both EV brands are continually outsold by the Hongguang Mini, a budget electric car model created through a joint venture between General Motors, Wuling Motors, and SAIC Motor.

Target Market

Another key difference between XPeng and Nio? The places they market their vehicles. Nio has ventured outside China to sell in Norway, with plans to expand to 25 countries by 2025. XPeng, on the other hand, has a presence in Sweden and the Netherlands. They, too, plan to continue growing.


Worth mentioning is Nio’s commitment to battery swapping. This can give it an advantage over XPeng, Tesla and other competitors. Managed under the Nio Power brand name, Nio EVs can swap out old or fried batteries in exchange for new upgraded ones. Not even Tesla bothers with battery swaps It’s a very appealing aspect of the EV brand and something that gives it an edge.

XPeng: The Complete History

Guangzhou-based XPENG is a Chinese EV startup that makes affordable sedans and SUVs.

Co-founded in 2014 by Xia Heng and He Tao, XPeng got its start when these former GAC Group executives paired their automotive technology experience with their research and development expertise. However, it’s not enough to merely have a good idea. XPeng needed money and found it in a series of initial backers like He Xiaopeng, UCWeb founded and former Alibaba executive, He Xiaopeng, the current Chairman of XPeng, and Lei Jun, the founder of Xiaomi, among others.

In 2018, XPeng began production on the G3, an SUV that served as the company’s first EV on the market. The P7, the company’s first sedan, hit the streets two years later in 2020. The P5, another sedan, was introduced shortly after the company raised a couple of billion dollars in additional funding in 2021. The G9, XPeng’s first return to the SUV since the G3, is slated to be released in the fall of 2022.

The History of Nio

Whereas XPeng took a few years to announce its debut model, Nio came right out of the gates firing on all cylinders: They announced the release of the EP9 the day the company announced its establishment. It’s a very confident, impressive move for a company, and Nio hasn’t stopped making similar moves in the years that have followed.

In 2018, Nio opened up its first battery swap station. This would quickly become one of the company’s most distinct features, allowing drivers to upgrade their batteries easily. They remain the biggest EV manufacturer to offer such a feature. This was the same year the company hit the New York Stock Exchange. Observed alongside each other, these two moves helped cement Nio as a true trailblazer in the EV market.

Nio announced its expansion into Norway in the spring of 2021. After immediate success, the company announced plans to spread throughout Europe and abroad to 25 additional countries by the end of 2025. It’s a very bold statement, especially considering the short time frame they’ve set for themselves, but there’s no doubt Nio can do it. Just look at the kind of impressive feats they’ve accomplished thus far.

XPeng vs Nio: Which EV Brand Is Better?

After comparing and contrasting XPeng and Nio, it still might not be clear which EV brand is better. Nio has far more vehicles on the road and extensive plans to add even more, but XPeng had the better sales in 2021. Nio has the better growth, while XPeng has the higher market cap. Both are in the process of expanding to Europe, have been around since 2014, and are trying to give Tesla a run for its money. But which is superior?

When all is said and done, the honor of the better EV brand belongs to Nio. Sure, it might have fewer cars in its catalog. Yes, it might not have a model selling as well as XPeng’s P7. No, it might not have the year-over-year growth of its closest competitor. But Nio still comes out on top for several key reasons. These reasons are enough to come out well above XPeng.

Nio has a much higher market cap, 20 billion dollars more than XPeng. Beyond this, Nio has popular and highly successful battery swap stations throughout China (and soon to be Europe). This is a major advantage over all other EV brands. None one else is dabbling with battery swapping on such a major scale. Additionally, Nio has better plans for its future — they’ve got four vehicles in various stages of production, while the same cannot be said for XPeng. All in all, these things make Nio the superior EV brand compared to XPeng.

Up Next…

XPeng vs Nio: China’s Top Electric Vehicle Brands Compared FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Which is the better Chinese EV manufacturer, XPeng or Nio?

When comparing the two, Nio comes out above XPeng for its wider range of offerings and its innovative battery swap technology.

Where does XPeng get its name?

The XPeng brand name comes from former Alibaba executive and current XPeng chairman He Xiaopeng.

Can you buy XPeng or Nio vehicles in the United States?

As of this writing, neither XPeng nor Nio are available for purchase in America (though both have plans to reach the United States in time).

Do XPeng and Nio sell more cars than Tesla in China?

Despite the promise of XPeng and Nio as underdogs, Tesla still manages to sell more electric vehicles in China.

Are XPeng and Nio publicly traded in the United States?

Yes, stocks in both XPeng and Nio are available for purchase on the New York Stock Exchange.

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