Elon Musk showed conventional automakers the right way to sell electric cars by starting at the top of the market and working its way down. China’s CH-Auto wants to replicate the success of Tesla, and aims to begin down the same path with an all-electric super called the Qiantu K50 Event!, and yes, that name includes the exclamation point. No, I don’t know why.
The Wall St. Journal reports that CH-Auto is the brainchild of Lu Qun, who is big into electric cars and believes he can replicate Tesla’s path to success in China. CarNewsChina reports that the Event! uses a pair of electric motors to spin out 400 horsepower, while the 41.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack allows for a driving range of 250 km/150 miles. That’s less range than the Tesla Model S, but a 4.0 second 0 to 60 MPH time makes it faster than any other EV in China except the P85D. That’s all for the sportiest model though; a base version will be offered, presumably with either less range, performance, or both.
A 1685 kg/3,714 lbs curb weight means the Event! is much lighter than even the skinniest Tesla though, though it has room for just two passengers. Also it’s shape, while not unpleasant, is obviously borrowed from the Bugatti Veyron. It’s not exactly a clone per se, but there’s more than a passing resemblance to the famous hypercar.
I hope you’re not tired of Tesla comparisons yet, because the estimated $115,000 starting price is right in the same ballpark as the Model S in China. However, because the Event! will be built in China, it will qualify for all sorts of financial incentives that the Model S doesn’t yet get. CH-Auto isn’t the only one trying to do what Elon did though, as Fisker’s new owners Wanxiang Group want to build an electric car empire of their own.
With the world’s largest car market pushing hard for more electric vehicles, is there room at the table for all these ambitious electric automakers? Or can conventional car companies play catch-up quickly enough? Will the Event! gain traction with local customers, or will it be another also-ran that was better on paper than in production?