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New Chinese Carmaker Teases First Model - Another Tesla Rival? Photo:
Trevor Collett | Dec, 14 2015 | 1 Comment

With the popularity and success of Tesla’s all-electric range, there is rising interest from other carmakers looking to take Tesla on.

Some don’t even bother trying to hide it (one could say), such as China’s Youxia X electric sedan, but another Chinese carmaker reckons it might have the winning formula in its new Model S rival.

Unlike some others, this effort has the considerable backing of the Beijing Electric Vehicle Company which in itself is a subsidiary of the Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation (BAIC).

BAIC not only has government money to prop it up, it is also partly state-owned and has already formed joint ventures with Hyundai and Daimler.

This latest joint venture however is with a US-based company called Atieva, and the Ateiva name is likely to adorn the EV when the covers come off at next year’s Beijing Auto Show.

The model teased here is only the beginning, says Ateiva, which has plans to develop a range of EVs for numerous markets - not just China.

Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S

To get the necessary cash and backing, Ateiva will relinquish a majority share to BAIC who in turn will assist Ateiva with technical support and manufacturing infrastructure.

“We’re redefining what a car can be by building an iconic new vehicle from the ground up,” Ateiva said in a statement.

“We’re a car company, not a design house. And we’re definitely not a traditional automaker."

BAIC’s previous experience in the EV field includes the E 150 hatch, but Chinese testing rates the model’s maximum range at just 139km.

Atieva is believed to be targeting a range closer to 500km, which will be arguably necessary if its first model is to compete with the Model S.

Details are thin on the ground, including whether or not Atieva plans to build EVs in right-hand-drive. Stay tuned for more.

MORE: Volkswagen Teases All-Electric Concept For CES 2016
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