This Sleek EV Looks Like a Super Affordable Tesla Model 3

The MONA M03 launches in China in August.

Xpeng's MONA M03 affordable EV
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Everyone has been waiting for an affordable EV announcement from Tesla, but overseas challengers are already making their debut.

Chinese EV maker Xpeng revealed its latest affordable model called the MONA M03. The first half of the name stands for “Made of New AI” while the latter is a nod to Tesla’s Model 3. More than just taking inspiration from its name, Xpeng’s design for the MONA M03’s body resembles Tesla’s best-selling sedan but updates it with a trunk that opens more like the Model Y.

We still don’t have any concrete details about Tesla’s upcoming models, only that plans for the $25,000 model were scrapped. However, the EV maker is still planning on putting out more affordable models than its existing Model 3. As we start to run out of patience for Tesla, Xpeng and other overseas competitors are making the wait worse by showing off their own alternatives.

Maximum Aerodynamics

While the MONA M03 might not be the most performance-oriented EV, Xpeng managed to make its EV’s aerodynamics extremely competitive. With a drag coefficient of 0.194, the MONA M03 beats out Lucid’s EVs that clock in at an already impressive 0.197, and Tesla’s Model S that comes in at 0.208. The streamlined design isn’t just to lord over Tesla, since Xpeng claimed it has led to an increase in range.

According to Xpeng, the MONA M03 will have a range between 515 and 620 km, or around 320 to 385 miles. While that’s impressive for an affordable EV, it’s worth noting that these numbers come from China’s EV testing standards which tend to be far more generous than real-world numbers.

Xpeng didn’t reveal all the details of its upcoming EV, but we know that customers get a choice between a 140kW or a more powerful 160kW motor. The MONA M03 only tops out at 155 km/h, or around 96 mph, but that’s more than enough for a daily driver. To live up to its MONA name, Xpeng will include its XNGP ADAS system which is expected to offer autonomous driving capabilities like Tesla’s Full Self-Driving.

Even More Overseas Competition

According to Autohome, Xpeng wants to price the MONA M03 for less than 200,000 yuan, or around $27,500. Along with the official debut, the company opened preorders to Chinese customers for the MONA M03, which is expected to launch in August. Since Xpeng doesn’t export any of its EVs to the U.S., we don’t expect this affordable Tesla rival to arrive on our shores either.

As good as the MONA M03 looks, it’s likely not coming to the U.S.

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However, Xpeng’s upcoming EV still puts some more pressure on Tesla, which is engaged in price wars with several Chinese brands. Musk only previously revealed that its next EVs, which should include an affordable model, are scheduled to start production in 2025 or earlier. However, with competition heating up, Tesla might be forced to drop prices even further or speed up its release window.

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