A new electric car manufacturing start-up, Atieva, which is located just a fee miles from its new competitor’s headquarters, Tesla, plans to release an electric sedan by 2018. Atieva has managed to raise hundreds of millions of dollars, and they will challenge the popular electric car maker, with vehicles that are made in the United States. Some Chinese investors are heavily backing the company.
The new startup plans to put a new sedan on the market by at least 2018, and then will release a pair of luxury crossovers in 2020-2021, according to what company executives told reporters. The company will be in competition against Tesla and also together with three China-based startups which have been using some of the Silicon Valley personnel.
Two of the China-based companies are also being backed by the same person who is backing Atieva. The three same sponsored companies have all opened up some facilities in California over the past year, and only one of the two other companies, Faraday Future says they will launch their electric cars in the United States.
But unlike these companies, Atieva is a California based company which was started back in 2007, by former executives from Tesla itself and Oracle. The company has gone on to hire some Tesla employees including the now Atieva Chief Technology Officer, Peter Rawlinson.
Since they still have two years, before the launch of their commercial vehicle, the company has been using a Mercedes-Benz Vito commercial van test the drive train: together with a pair of high-output electric motors, a lithium ion battery pack, inverters and some controllers.
The former Tesla employee, Rawlinson says that the Atieva’s software is the one acting as the secret sauce which is, therefore, combining all these components and bringing forward hardware that can deliver 900 horsepower to the 5,000 pounds four wheel drive car which apparently is called Edna. The drivetrain is capable of propelling the van from zero to 60 mph in as little as 3.1 seconds. The time is slower than the fastest Tesla Model S, but Atieva plans to bring the 0-60 seconds to 2.7 by 2018.
Atieva has managed to raise several hundred million dollars from various investors including Mitsui & Co Ltd, which is a Japanese trading giant, and also Venrock, a venture capital company based in Silicon Valley, which once funded tech giants Apple and Intel, and is also rumored to have ties with the Rockefeller family.
Personaly, I love Tesla cars, and I just wait to see new Tesla Model Y!