Tesla has got a new rival which wants to supersede it with its new car, an e-roadster. Qiantu Motor, one of the biggest automotive design companies in China, plans to launch its $106,000 electric Roadster dubbed the K50. This sports car is said to be made with materials commonly found in business jets and mega yachts.
Taking inspiration from Tesla
In an interview with Bloomberg, Lu Qun, Qiantu Motor’s Chairman, said that presently, the electric car maker is building a factory in the eastern city of Suzhou to manufacture the K50, which will have a carbon-fiber body and an aluminum frame.
“We are learning from Tesla as well as all the other electric carmakers,” said Qun. “We are aiming at building high-performance cars, and there’s no other option but to build our own factory, because there isn’t a plant in China that has a carbon-fiber molding workshop.”
It is expected that the China-based electric car maker will launch the e-roadster in the coming year. As for price, it will be around 700,000 yuan or $106,000. The K50 is built to take the limelight away from the Tesla Model S, which is built from aluminum.
The Chinese firm intends to produce vehicles for other firms as well, said Qun. Further, Qun told Bloomberg that Qiantu’s factory will have a 50,000-vehicle capacity at first. The automaker expects to have a 15% share of the EV market, which is equivalent to 450,000 cars, by 2020.
The company’s aim is to influence consumers so they see that China has the capability to come up with a “new car brand, a new premium car brand, and a new premium pure-electric car brand,” said Qun. According to Qun, this can be achieved in a step-by-step manner.
The Chinese firm plans to follow up the K50 with two more affordable electric vehicles, said Qun.
Will Qiantu overthrow Tesla?
It is not certain whether Qiantu will overthrow Tesla in the electric car arena, but it is expected to give tough competition to the U.S. electric car maker. The success of the firm will mainly depend on its reputation and marketing, Steve Man, an analyst based in Hong Kong, told Bloomberg. Man added that Qiantu will have to devote a lot of patience and capital to build “a consumer standing that is time-tested.” If Qiantu succeeds in fulfilling its goal, then Tesla will have to come up with better features and price.
“[Let’s] see if it has staying power,” said Man. Nothing is certain as for now.