Atieva Test Powertrain Van Quicker Than Tesla, 60 In 3 Seconds (race video)

JUL 15 2016 BY MARK KANE 38

California-based and Chinca-backed Atieva unveiled its powertrain test vehicle “Edna”, which happens to be a converted to electric drive Mercedes-Benz Vito commercial van.

Atieva’s Powertrain Test Vehicle in Action

Atieva’s Powertrain Test Vehicle in Action

Atieva equipped the car with “two electric motors, two sets of power electronics, two gearboxes, one battery capable of storing 87 kWh of energy and outputting over 900 horsepower“.

Which is exactly the same system being readied for the upcoming Atieva sedan, expected on the market around 2018. Initial production capacity is said to be 20,000 cars annually.

As of now company uses large commercial van, easy for development purposes of the powertrain. Despite the weight in range of 5,000 lbs (2,268 kg), Edna turns to be pretty quick – 0-60 mph comes up in just 3.08 seconds, ahead of Tesla Model S (outside of the P90DL), the production sedan is said to be even quicker – 0-60 in 2.7 seconds.

“Developing a car and a company from scratch is an exciting and challenging opportunity. There are many ups and downs along the way and we intend to share details with you in this blog as they develop.

One of the “ups” presented itself at a recent series of tests we were performing on Edna, our powertrain testing delivery van. Edna features a prototype version of the powertrain we are developing for our sedan. The spacious van package allows Atieva engineers to retrofit the vehicle with Atieva powertrain components with as little modification as possible.

Under Edna’s skin are two electric motors, two sets of power electronics, two gearboxes, one battery capable of storing 87 kWh of energy and outputting over 900 horsepower, plus all of the software to make the components play nicely together. With Edna we are able to test various aspects of the powertrain system, including motor control algorithms, regenerative braking behaviors, accelerator pedal feel, and cooling strategies, to name a few.

Edna can often be seen testing on public roads, but occasionally we visit a closed course for tests that cannot be performed safely on public roads. During a recent test session we brought a couple of other cars along to see how Edna would match up in a race. With ample power on tap, Edna was able to overcome her significant weight disadvantage to take the win on repeated runs.

While the race was an opportunity for the team to have some fun, Edna has more tricks up her sleeve than just straight-line acceleration. Enjoy the quick video and stay tuned for more information over the coming months.”

A recent Reuters’s article reveals background on the Atieva, which was founded by Bernard Tse, an ex-Tesla Vice President and board member. The other well known person associated with Atieva is Peter Rawlinson – previously engaged at Tesla leading engineering of the Model S, now serving as Atieva’s Chief Technology Officer.

“Atieva has raised several hundred million dollars from investors including Mitsui & Co Ltd(8031.T), the Japanese trading giant, and Venrock, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm connected with the Rockefeller family that once funded Intel and Apple.”

“Two of Atieva’s biggest shareholders are Chinese: State-owned Beijing Auto [BEJINS.UL] and a subsidiary of publicly traded LeEco, an internet company that has also declared it intends to offer an electric car. LeEco is controlled by Chinese tech entrepreneur Jia Yueting.”

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38 Comments on "Atieva Test Powertrain Van Quicker Than Tesla, 60 In 3 Seconds (race video)"

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they could have made an electric van and proven that van is more useful than model x.

You can developer electric motors for power i.e. torque;hp) or efficiency (i.e. miles/Wh) … the hard part is making them do both. This is what I believe Tesla has accomplish from my reading of articles on this exact topic.

Not so hard to combine just power and efficiency, but things get more difficult when power, efficiency, size, weight, cost and reliability are all important. Tesla has electric motors that don’t have major shortcomings in any of these metrics.

I believe Tesla has or has had issues with motor reliability.

Not really the motors but more of bearings and vibration from mounts wearing out.

Keep in mind that Atieva was founded as a Battery Technology Company, the same founder that was running Tesla Energy Team until Elon scraped the project only to realize it’s true potential down the road and recently restarting the project.

I think the really hard part is making it so people can afford it.

Yes, that’s the elephant in the room here.

I certainly don’t wish to belittle the achievement of Atieva building a prototype van which can out-accelerate a Tesla Model X. That is an impressive achievement, especially for what appears to be a small company or a startup.

But auto makers often make cost-is-no-object prototypes to attract attention and show off their technological prowess. That does sometimes result in a bit of innovative tech trickling down into actual mass production cars, but much more often nothing in such a prototype has a prayer of doing so.

WHAT’S FASTER 2.8 0 T0 60 0R 3 SECONDS 0 T0 60 …TESLA IS 2.8….?? DUUUUUU

The article says “(outside of the P90DL)”

Will they used this drivetrain for Faraday Future?

Good question. For anyone who missed it, the end of the article above says that Jia Yueting’s company LeEco is one of Atieva’s two biggest shareholders. Jia Yueting, is none other than the founder and owner of EV startup Faraday Future.

If Faraday Future has access to this tech, then they should be talking it up big time. That would impress potential investors a lot more than that absurd faux prototype “batmobile” they keep showing… which doesn’t have a motor or even steerable front wheels!

“Battle of the electric car startups: will Faraday Future merge with Atieva?”

Great link! 😀

So Reuters article is wrong, Beijing Automotive Industry Holding (BAIC) is no longer a shareholder in Atieva.

“Then in early April 2016, BAIC sold its entire 25% stake in Atieva, according to sources close to the company, who say that Jia [Yueting] is the most likely purchaser. With Faraday Future breaking ground last week on a new $1bn assembly plant in Nevada, several Atieva staff now expect the company to be absorbed into Faraday Future before its own product even sees the light of day.”

The plot thickens.

That reminds me of the Jaguar XJ-220 test mule.

Great, Tesla need some competition! They should have gone for producing a van though that is a wide open market.

I wonder who will be the first one to break 100 kWh in a production vehicle.

I’d take this as a van. Quick convert into a basic RV and I’d be a happy camper.

I see what you did there….

Yeah, then you could drive to some rustic place and take a hike.

That’s one f**king quick van.

“The more the merrier.”

What is that Ferrari model?

Ferrari California

I’ll take it in the Van…….lol
Van’s are underestimated on how much crap it can hold.

Only room is I need is an empty driver seat

Atieva is somewhat strange.

Around since 2007 (arguably much smaller back then) and still haven’t shipped a product:

Must have very patient investors.

Other Chinese entrants such as Faraday Future, NextEV and Future Mobility move faster – some of them share investor base with Atieva.

My HPI Racing cars reach 60mph in just 2 seconds!

Well, just proves once again that Nissan can’t build a fast EV.

Tesla crushed LEAF in acceleration,

This van also crushed the Nissan E-NV200 in performance.

Nissan better bring out an improved LEAF 2.0 with some performance upgrade.

Why do you leave out Ford and Kia?

Breaking news: Ukraine will get the outlander PHEV before us.

They suck too.

But at least they don’t brag about their EVs like Nissan do.

I don’t think Carlos has ever brag about their EV, performance wise.

I think just about every country has the Outlander PHEV before the USA.

I’m going postal if Canada gets it before us.

My Chinese dinner bet is safe, thanks to atieva.

What does “Chinca-backed” backed mean? is that a typo?

China, California backed.