Tesla Motors Inc. faces some truly intense competition from its budding rivals. Start-ups and auto industry legends alike are just gearing up to knock the EV giant out of place. Perhaps the company’s biggest challenge comes from within though. News this week reports that a few former Tesla execs are now working together to build a car that will outdo the Model S and maybe get a little revenge at the same time.
Atieva takes on Tesla
Atieva is a company that offers energy solutions for standing items and as well as electric cars. It is led by Bernard Tse. Before the current CEO of Tesla — Elon Musk — took his seat at the head of the table, Mr. Tse was the luxury car maker’s VP. He was, however, replaced not long after Musk was appointed as Tesla’s chief exec.
Bernard Tse didn’t take the loss of his position as the end of his place in the energy industry though. After he left Tesla, he along with Martin Eberhard went on to start Atieva. Eberhard too used to work for Tesla.
Perhaps building an EV is the likely outcome of most energy solutions firms. Even the likes of Dyson, a brand renowned as for it household vacuum cleaners, is said to be making a jump to energy storage. The vacuum maker is even reported to be making its own EVs. Although, if that is happening, it is definitely being kept under wraps. But the jump from just energy storage to EVs is not far fetched. It is in fact the exact road for Atieva.
We can only assume that during the progressions of the company, Atieva expanded and found some new territory to cover. It is here where the founders probably rediscovered their passion for electric motoring solutions. The other end of the coin suggests grudging former employees are now unfolding their plan to stick it to Tesla .
Regardless, Atieva is now planning to build a luxury EV. This required some addition help. So the energy provider brought in another former Tesla exec. Although Peter Rawlinson is now CTO at Atieva, he was the Model S Chief Engineer and Vice President of Tesla not too long ago.
Is Tesla in trouble?
So Atieva is led by three former Tesla execs who not only know a thing or two about EVs, but have also sat at the table of the world’s best EV maker. Now Atieva is making a Model S competitor. It has been very hush since word broke about the project a few months ago. However, this week news reports say Atieva is already testing out its powertrain. Its two electric motors can push it to 60 miles per hour in just 3.1 seconds, according to reports. The company plans the shave at least 0.4 second off that time though. If successful, Atieva’s car will trump the Model S’s 2.8 seconds speed.
Atieva plans to have its final product in the market by 2018. It seems that the powertrain is well on its way to completion. Once available to the public, the electric car — called “Project Cosmos” — should give Tesla’s Model S sedan a hard time.
Atieva hopes to rival the Model S and is said to have further EV plans beyond Cosmos. However, it will likely find the luxury EV market fairly crowded by the time its car rolls out.