Is This The Beginning Of The Asian EV Invasion?
The first Chinese super electric vehicle from Qiantu, a name which is Chinese for dragonfly, is about to hit the road in the US. Its K50, developed in partnership with Mullen Technologies, is not the only news, though.
You might not have heard of Qiantu, or its parent company CH-Auto, before now. Nonetheless, the Chinese EV maker is about to strike a high note by bringing the first Chinese exotic EV to US roads. After months of talking to Mullen Technologies, we are happy to report that CH-Auto turned to the discreet Californian startup for its cooperation agreement to homologate and assemble cars in the US for sales in North America.
I could tell from meeting with Mullen Technologies CEO and Chairman David Michery a few months ago that his enthusiasm and car aficionado background was hard to contain. Although we couldn’t reveal anything at the time, David told me that we’d finally have an exotic EV at a luxury sports EV price.
I also met Daniel Daracour, Vice President of Design and Chief Designer at Qiantu, at LA Automobility 2018 two weeks ago, getting a better view of what the K50 would be like. I can say it is impressive both in terms of design and performance, but that’s not all. In the presentation, Daniel not only showed what the exotic Qiantu EV looks like, but also how it was conceived and what is soon to follow.
In order to do help Qiantu bring its exotic electric K50 to the North America market, Mullen will be renting a manufacturing plant and technology once the project ramps up to prepare for assembling the Chinese super-EV, according to a company press release.
As far as CH-Auto, the Chinese EV producer has shown design hints of its upcoming K50 since 2015. In November 2018, Qiantu’s chairman and president visited Mullen for preliminary negotiations. Since then, we’ve been told the discussions have resulted in a signed cooperation agreement.
Mullen, aside from being a Southern California EV manufacturer, is also an international distributor, which opens the doors to North America for CH-Auto. Mullen owns Mullen Auto Sales, an innovative series of automobile dealerships. Mullen also owns CarHub, an innovative digital concierge platform that leverages AI with complete solutions for car buying, selling, and maintenance. Both dealerships and the digital platform will help Mullen sell more EVs in the future, especially as digital auto commerce picks up momentum.
Qiantu K50, A 296 kW Mullen EV
So far, the Mullen–Qiantu collaboration says it will launch the Qiantu K50 by 2020. The 296 kW/402 HP exotic EV rests on an aluminum frame and makes use of carbon fiber body parts.
In order to circumvent the geopolitical shenanigans of international governments, Mullen will assemble the K50 components in the US, and also make use of US-sourced key components. David told us only a limited number of reservations will be accepted in 2019.
According to the press release, David says: “Mullen is thrilled to embark on this journey together with Qiantu to bring sexy and exciting new options to North American consumers. The 100% electric Qiantu K50 meets exotic automobile criteria without the exotic price tag. I believe that we can grow clean transportation in North America by bringing highly desirable options to market. Mullen Technologies, with its technology, commercial teams, and distribution systems in place is geared to accomplish exactly that.”
Daniel hinted at a future K20 at Los Angeles Automobility 2018, a smaller version of the K50. Think of a sub-compact EV that will be equally at home in Asia, Europe, or on busy urban streets in the US.
Certainly, we can’t wait to test drive the K50 and the K20! We will get our hands on the first Qiantu soon and give you a closer look at how it feels. What does it really mean to get behind the wheels of an exotic EV? In the meantime, we’re excited to see this torchbearer hitting North American roads soon.
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