Electric car startup Atieva to choose a site for its US plant this year image

As it aims to compete with Tesla, the relatively unknown Atieva said it eyed two US sites for its first electric plant.

The electric race intensifies, as more Silicon Valley startups are emerging, mainly driven by the success of Elon Musk’s Tesla, with many of them being backed-up by Chinese investors. One of these new contenders is Atieva, a company which already revealed its plans of launching a premium electric sedan by 2018, followed by two luxury crossovers in 2020-2021. Furthermore, the manufacturing director Brian Barron said to Reuters the company was also focusing on choosing a site for a plant and it has narrowed its search to two locations, while a final decision is expected to be taken later this year.

Atieva, which was founded by a former Tesla Vice President and board member and which hired some former Tesla execs along with several other EV experts, is backed up by China’s state-owned Beijing Auto and a subsidiary of LeEco, that has also declared it intends to building an electric car. The latter, has the support of the Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting, who is behind Faraday Future, the startup that has broken grounds in April on the 1-billion-dollar plant in Nevada, aiming to build its first car in a couple of years as well. Barron, a former BMW executive, said Atieva’s factory would initially produce 20,000 electric cars a year, ramping up the pace gradually, up to 130,000 units a year.

Via Reuters