Atieva could challenge Tesla EV dominance

Date:18 October 2016 Tags:, , , ,

Over the last few months, we’ve been entertained by Edna, a Mercedes Metris work van with a 900-hp electric drivetrain developed by Chinese-backed electric car company Atieva. Edna notably beat a Ferrari 458 Speciale, Tesla Model S, and Nissan GT-R in a drag race, which has generated excitement around its mysterious creators.

Atieva will debut a sedan, dubbed the Atvus, later this year, and this is seems to be our first look at it. The rendering comes comes courtesy of a public records request filed by Recode, which reports that the Atvus will be built by a bicycle company in rural China.

The California-based company has received attention for both its ultra-quick electric van, and its two largest investors, BAIC and LeEco. Both Chinese companies, the former is a state-run automaker, and the latter is a technology giant that has investments in Farday Future, Aston Martin, and its own electric car concept. BAIC and LeEco invested around $100 million in Atieva in 2014, buying a 50-percent stake.

Atieva, whose staff includes the former chief engineer of the Tesla Model S, hopes to have the Atvus on sale in the U.S. in 2018, with China following thereafter. Its Edna prototype is impressive, but building an entire car requires a lot more work than just a drivetrain. Considering LeEco has investments in both Atieva and Faraday Future, we wouldn’t be surprised if the final product was a collaboration between the two electric car startups.

This article was originally written for and published by Popular Mechanics USA.

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