Friday, June 23, 2017

Chinese Tesla rival is planning to launch a $7,800 ‘ultra-compact’ electric car in 2018 with changeable batteries

Chinese start-up CHJ Automotive is the newest company looking to enter the rapidly growing electric car market, which has been historically led by Tesla. The new player is currently developing a compact electric car and a hybrid SUV. The "ultra-compact" electric car, at 2.5 meters long and 1 meter wide,  is set to be launched in March 2018. It is equipped with Google's in-car operating system and runs on two swappable batteries. Kevin Shen, CEO of CHJ, said that "In China, there are 340 million people (who) daily commute with e-scooters, but there is a strong demand for them to upgrade to something. But we cannot imagine all of them driving cars, so we want to give them something else, which is an ultra-compact car." China is not the only target market - the company will launch the compact car in Europe as part of ride sharing projects. CHJ has partnered with car-sharing platform Clem. The partnership has already begun trialing in Paris, where the project is expected to ease traffic. In 2016, Tesla sold $1 billion worth of vehicles. But Shen is not worried saying that China sells in excess of 25 million cars each year with just a small fraction being electric vehicles. "There is a very big market for everybody," said Shen. 

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by Arjun Kharpal, CNBC
June 16, 2017

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