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Published on November 10th, 2014 | by James Ayre


Inabikari — European Startup Aiming To Dethrone Tesla With Crowdfunded Competitor

November 10th, 2014 by  

How would you go about trying to dethrone Tesla (or Nissan for that matter)? By crowdfunding a competitor with 400 miles of all-electric range? Hmm?

Well, regardless of what you or I think, that’s exactly what a new startup in Europe is aiming to do. Its goal is to crowdfund a high-performance all-electric SUV that will reportedly possess a 400-mile range and the ability to accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in only 5 seconds. (That obviously doesn’t compete with the Tesla Model S P85D, but certainly not bad.) But let’s look a little more closely at what information is available so far.


The new German/Latvian startup — known as Inabikari — hasn’t revealed much about its proposed model, the Rev.01, other than its utilization of an “Intelligent Drive System.” So, we’ll have to wait to see exactly how much vapor is behind this ware.

Gas2 provides some thoughts on the startup and its aims:

The first images don’t reveal much of the proposed all-electric SUV. Alas, without many details, the ambitious startup may have a hard time procuring its first round of $100,000 in funding… which truthfully won’t buy all that much.

Even the $1 million stretch goal wouldn’t go far towards funding the construction of an all-new electric vehicle, making it hard to call the Rev.01 anything other than vaporware at the moment. Though the original concept formed in 2008, the company doesn’t expect to begin production until 2017 at the soonest…and even that seems wildly ambitious. With Tesla setting the standard for electric vehicles, conventional automakers and fresh startups alike are going to be clawing for attention and sales, but history has proven time and again just how difficult it is to start a new car company.

The company has certainly gotten itself a fair amount of press in recent days through its efforts — so that’s got to be worth something. The EV industry is certainly in a strange sort of place currently, seemingly right between two major phases of its development. The next couple of years should be very interesting. Whether or not any of the startups that have been appearing in recent days can capture any of the market is an interesting question, and one that might be fun to revisit.

Image Credit: Inabikari

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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • Offgridman

    Just wow, I am just so blown away by their indiegogo page. It seriously reminds me of those spam emails from Africa. We have 20 million dollars for you, just send us 20 thousand and we will process the paperwork. Same vague references and poor grammar, yet claiming connections to US and UK technical advisors. If this is true they should have had one of those “team members” look over and edit their request before posting it. And the wonderful rewards for participating in this fund drive, “just send us 250$ or more, and you get one of our lovely dogtags”
    The only thing more sad than this fund drive are the 21 suckers that have given them 44$ so far.
    Whoever spent the few hours setting up this fund raiser and making the YouTube video to go with it is going to end up pretty disappointed when they don’t even make enough to cover the time they have invested.
    Calling this vapor ware is actually a compliment that this farce doesn’t even deserve.

  • gabydewilde

    Dethrone? I didn’t even know there was a throne?!? I didn’t even know Musk made an suv?!?

    yours very confused,

    • Bob_Wallace

      The drawing doesn’t look as much SUV as crossover. Something similar to the Tesla X. Assembly lines for the X have already been set up and this company is trying to scrape up their first $100k.

      Throne. King of the Mountain. Whatever. Musk/Tesla is in the Catbird Seat.

  • MikeH

    I don’t think there is the slightest chance of crowd-funding an EV startup. Anyone who thinks so doesn’t know what it actually takes to put a car on the road in Europe, Japan and the U.S. The compliance testing program alone (to meet various standards) is multi-millions and this doesn’t include the product design and development, manufacturing tooling, sales/service development, etc., etc. Tesla is the only EV startup that has made it beyond startup phase and I doubt any others can. Look at the many well-funded EV startups that have failed such as CODA, Aptera, Fisker, Th!nk, and BetterPlace.

  • Kyle Field

    I don’t think $100k is even enough for a prototype. Not sure what they’re looking to accomplish there…but time will tell.

  • Bob_Wallace

    Someone’s making themselves an income off kickstarters.

    No one is going to found a new car company with $100k or $1 million. Think more than $1 billion. Tesla is so far in the lead that it would take a very major investment to move ahead of it in a short amount of time.

    These folks don’t even have quality vapor….

  • Albertico

    The more join the electric game, the better for Tesla and us. However, that being said; 2017+ means that this car plans to release around the time the Gigafactory goes into production for the Model 3 release.

    By then, given the annual percentage increase in battery energy density and the lower cost of Tesla batteries relative to the rest of the industry, it will be extremely hard to dethrone Tesla. A 400 mile Model S for the 80k we pay today for the base 85kWh model would not be surprising.

    Wonder if any automaker, established or not will be able to compare with those numbers 3 years from now.

    • Bob_Wallace

      I think GM is going to give Nissan and Tesla a run for their money in the ~200 mile range, <$30k niche.

      One or more battery companies seem to be getting ready to produce at very large scale. Panasonic doesn't own any magic juice that would make their batteries significantly cheaper than what others could turn out (AFAIK). It's all about scale.

      I wonder if we'll see a Corvette EV in the next few years? There could be some interesting competition between a Vette and T Roadster if the emphasis is put on speed, handling and moderate cost rather than going for speed and "exclusive pricing" like the very high euro European sports cars.

      • Jenny Sommer

        I would not rule out the big European manufacturers. VW is selling more EV’s in Norway than Nissan. The i3 is just the beginning of BMWs engagement.
        They are always good for a surprise.

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