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China EV Road Trip & Beijing Auto Show

Tu Le, Sino Auto Insights’ founder, assessing Xpeng’s EV on a 1,500 mile road trip, wonders how much Elon Musk can charge for Tesla's FSD when many Chinese vehicles with similar ADAS systems are already on the road. He shares insights from the recent Beijing Auto Show.
China EV Road Trip & Beijing Auto Show

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By Junko Yoshida

Podcast Guest: Tu Le, founder and managing director, Sino Auto Insights

Following the recent Beijing Auto Show, Tu Le, founder and managing director of Sino Auto Insights, took a 1,500-mile road trip from Beijing to Shenzhen, driving an Xpeng G9 equipped with Xpeng’s Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), X-NGP, similar to Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD)

Le, who has lived and worked in Detroit, Silicon Valley, and Beijing, is the ultimate insider, observing close-up the impact that China’s EV revolution is spreading worldwide.

In this podcast, we asked him what it was like to drive Xpeng’s “Navigate on Autopilot” features? Le bluntly replies: “(Tesla’s) FSD has competition in China. It might be blue ocean in Europe and the United States, but it’s not going to be the case here … Companies like Huawei, Nio, Li Auto have their own versions [equivalent to Tesla’s FSD].” 

He added, “Unless Tesla’s FSD is far superior, which I don’t believe it is, Tesla won’t be able to charge too much for it.”

We also asked for Le’s takeaway from the Beijing Auto Show. He shares scuttlebutt he picked up at the show including the busloads of German automotive engineers flown in by Volkswagen, and BYD’s ardent courtship of Latin American customers. He noted that unlike last year’s Shanghai Auto Show where foreign automakers largely demurred launching new products, all the western auto brands — Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Volkswagen, BMW, Porsche and others — were back on the show floor in Beijing.

Will their models blow away China-made EVs?  Probably not. But Tu said, “This is step number one. It’s kind of communicating to China that you are an important market to us. We will not give up on you.”

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Junko Yoshida is the editor in chief of The Ojo-Yoshida Report. She can be reached at

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