's battery R&D team is currently around 100 people, and the company already has a lot of communication with upstream raw material suppliers, according to local media.

(Image credit: CnEVPost)

Xpeng Motors is reportedly planning to develop its own batteries, set to become the next electric car company to enter the field after .

Xpeng has put battery development on the agenda and has recruited former BMW senior battery engineer Zhong Liang to head the project, local media outlet 36kr reported today.

Zhong's current position at Xpeng is senior director of battery technology and has been with the company for more than six months, according to the report.

Zhong worked at South Korean battery company SK Innovation, which has a partnership with Xpeng, before joining BMW, the report said.

Xpeng's battery R&D team is currently around 100 people, and the company already has a lot of communication with upstream raw material suppliers, according to the report.

Compared to Nio, which wants to have its own battery installed in vehicles by 2024, Xpeng's goal is relatively modest, with initial plans to have its battery installed in vehicles in about five years, the report said.

Notably, a CnEVPost report last week mentioned that Xpeng has set up a subsidiary whose business scope includes battery manufacturing, perhaps in preparation for developing its own batteries in the future.

The company, called Guangzhou Pengbo Automotive Technology Co Ltd, was established on November 16 with a registered capital of RMB 5 billion ($700 million), with Xpeng co-founder and president Henry Xia as the legal representative, according to its registration information.

The company's business scope includes battery manufacturing, battery parts production, battery sales, battery parts sales, auto parts R&D, and motor and control system R&D.

Prior to the registration of this subsidiary, there was no rumor that Xpeng would enter the battery manufacturing field, although the company had applied for relevant patents.

On August 13, 2021, Xpeng disclosed a patent related to battery life prediction that would be able to significantly improve the accuracy of the prediction.

William Li, founder, chairman and CEO of Nio, said in a conference call after the announcement of its first-quarter earnings report on June 9 that the company has a battery team of over 400 people to research areas including battery materials, cells, and battery management systems, and to fully establish battery system development and industrialization capabilities.

Nio will put its new battery pack into production in 2024, and it will support 800V high-voltage fast charging, Li said at the time.

On August 24, local media LatePost reported that Nio was developing lithium iron manganese phosphate (LMFP) and 4680 batteries in-house.

On October 21, the company named Nio Battery Technology (Anhui) Co Ltd was registered in Hefei, Anhui province, with a registered capital of RMB 2 billion, and is wholly owned by Nio Holding Co Ltd.

Nio's move received a lot of local media coverage at the time, and Li later said in an interview with local media Yicai that it was a normal strategy for automakers to manufacture batteries.

Notably, hours after the 36kr report was published, Xpeng responded by posting a statement on Weibo saying that the company has no plans to develop its own batteries.

Xpeng has always focused on building a better smart electric car for its users, it said.