Henry Xia jumps into the burnt toast-colored electric car he helped build as co-founder of Xpeng Motors Technology Ltd. and commands it to play Green Day’s “21 Guns.” He asks the car about traffic conditions and starts driving. The 35-year-old is the most senior car executive at a Chinese automaker that hasn’t delivered a single vehicle, doesn’t own a factory and hasn’t obtained a production license from the government. At least, not yet.
What the four-year-old startup has is backing from tech giants Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Foxconn Technology Group and Xiaomi Corp. founder Lei Jun. Xpeng expects to raise more than $600 million this month from investors that include Alibaba, valuing it close to $4 billion, according to a person familiar with the fundraising.