While electric car startup Atieva is only officially showing its crazy Edna electric van as a test mule, the company made it clear that the powertrain being tested will first be commercialized in a luxury sedan which it as yet to officially unveil.
But now Recode gives us our first look, albeit grainy but we will take it, at the upcoming vehicle through an image obtained in public documents filed with the state of California.
The vehicle named ‘Atvus’ “looks a lot like the Tesla Model S”, according to Recode. I would have to disagree. Obviously, we only have an image of the profile and while both the Model S and the Atvus have very simple lines, the Atvus looks more squarish in shape than Tesla’s sedan.
Admittedly, they both have 4 wheels. So there’s that.
What could look a lot like the Model S though is the Atvus’ powertrain since former Tesla VP and Model S Chief Engineer, Peter Rawlinson, is in charge of the vehicle program.
The powertrain, which again is being tested in the Edna test mule, is equipped with a 87 kWh battery pack and has an output of more than 900 horsepower. It will make the vehicle very competitive with the higher end versions of the Tesla Model S.
Atieva received hundreds of millions in funding from investors including Mitsui & Co and Venrock to develop its EV platform and its first vehicle. While it is officially based in California, like Faraday Future, it has important ties with China through other investors like BAIC and LeEco. The latter is the main backer of Faraday Future, another electric vehicle startup.
The company is currently looking to establish manufacturing capacity in California in order to bring their first vehicle to market. Atieva is planning for a similar ramp up as Tesla’s Model S: ~20,000 units during the first year and a planned capacity of up to 130,000 vehicles annually for the plant.
As we reported earlier this summer, the Atvus is expected to be unveiled later this year and the company has the ambitious goal to bring it to market in 2018. They also have two luxury crossovers in the pipeline planned for releases in 2020 and 2021.