Xpeng Motors is priming for a public listing in New York where it could raise up to $1.1 billion from a number of high-profile backers, including Chinese technology giants Alibaba and Xiaomi.

Why it matters: Xpeng’s listing is timed to benefit from strong investor appetite for electric vehicle stocks, a spillover effect from Tesla’s massive run this year as it ramped up production of China-made Model 3 sedans.

  • The initial public offering (IPO) would also be a test of US investor demand for Chinese stocks amid harsher financial scrutiny and rising tensions between Beijing and Washington.
  • Xpeng would be the third Chinese EV maker to list in the US after Nio and Li Auto—currently the most potent local Tesla challengers, backed by Chinese tech giants Alibaba, Tencent, and Meituan, respectively.

Details: Xpeng Motors is offering 85 million American depositary shares (ADS) at $11 to $13 each, according to a Friday filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The company said each share will represent two Class A ordinary shares.

  • The high end of the range gives the EV maker a valuation of $9.17 billion. After the closing bell on Friday, Nio closed with a market cap of $16.7 billion and Li Auto with $12.5 billion.
  • Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, its biggest external shareholder with a 14.4% stake, will purchase up to $200 million in the share sale, followed by US hedge fund Coatue with an expected subscription worth $100 million.
  • In the meanwhile, Primecap Management Company, a US investment firm that has held Tesla stocks since 2011, also indicated interest in purchasing $100 million worth of shares in the offering.
  • California-based Primecap is currently a Tesla shareholder with a 0.7% stake reduced from 1.8% in 2012, which accounts for 1.22% of its total portfolio, according to online research platform GuruFocus.
  • Sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority will subscribe for $50 million worth of shares, after joining in its $800 million Series C+. Xiaomi, Hong Kong-listed smartphone maker and a long-time backer, will also buy up to $50 million worth of shares.
  • He Xiaopeng, CEO of the company and a former executive at Alibaba, will retain 31.6% of the business and 58.9% of the voting power, according to the amended registration statement.

Context: Guangzhou-based Xpeng Motors is currently the only new EV maker that has delivered both electric sedan and SUV models to customers in China.

  • Xpeng has delivered a total of 20,707 EVs as of July starting in late 2018, mostly its first production model, the G3, compared to Nio’s 49,615 units which began delivery four months earlier.
  • It has sold 1,966 units of its second EV model, the P7, an electric sedan boasting a driving range of 706 kilometers (439 miles) and a proprietary assisted automated driving system XPilot, in the three months ended July 31.
  • The company plans to launch its third and fourth models, one sedan and one crossover, based on its existing EV platforms by the end of 2022, according to the prospectus.

Jill Shen is Shanghai-based technology reporter. She covers Chinese mobility, autonomous vehicles, and electric cars. Connect with her via e-mail: jill.shen@technode.com or Twitter: @yushan_shen