Exclusive Interview: Founder of Atlis Electric Trucks Exudes Confidence

JAN 16 2019 BY BRADLEY BERMAN 117

The dream is big. And there’s no room for doubts.

Last week, we published an article calling into question the feasibility of the latest electric vehicle start-up company. Atlis Motor Vehicles, which was incorporated in November 2016, is promising a highly configurable all-electric work truck that provides 500 miles of range, 15-minute recharging, and the creation of a new, go-anywhere charging network. The first deliveries are less than two years away.

Hours after the post sent live, Mark Hanchett, the company’s founder, contacted InsideEVs. The subject line was: “Saw the article on Atlis, would love to do an interview.”

The Call

The fast-talking and energetic Hanchett comes off as a legitimate chief executive. He speaks with authority and confidence. Despite having no previous automotive experience, he firmly believes that his current staff of six full-time employees will grow into a full-scale automobile manufacturer. “There’s no doubt in my mind of my ability to pull it off,” he said.

Hanchett believes the secret to succeeding when other EV startups have failed is staying lean, focusing on execution, and showing tangible results. And what’s paramount is “building the right product that’s truly different than everyone else.”

The genesis of the company came in 2013 when Hanchett – a long-time lover of pickups – started looking at the newly introduced Tesla Model S. He wondered why pickup trucks were not being electrified. “I couldn’t answer that question,” he said.

Using his decade of experience in developing electromechanical and software products, he started to research EV supply chains and charging infrastructure. “What does the current truck market and want and need that we can deliver?” he wondered. “What can we buy off the shelf? What’s possible to achieve?”

He boldly moved forward with calls to leading industry suppliers. “They told me that what I wanted to do is impossible,” he said. “My response was that it might be impossible with what you’re trying to sell me today, but I don’t want what you’re trying to sell me today.” By 2015, Hanchett and a few colleagues had developed the list of ambitious target specifications for the Atlis XT truck.

This photo looks real but it’s just digital. No prototypes currently exist.

A Million Dollars Later

Ten months ago, Atlis launched a crowdfunding campaign – using nothing but Hanchett’s bold vision and a set of eerily real digital images of the truck. They convinced more than 2,000 individual to invest an average of $500 each. Atlis reached its $1 million goal just last week.

Here’s roughly what comes next:

Prototype: Using a new custom platform and off-the-shelf components, Atlis’s small team plans to complete construction of the first working prototype in the next four to five months. “We are building a prototype vehicle that will roughly perform very close to the pickup truck that we’re showing off,” said Hanchett. “You’ll be able to sit in it, touch it, and feel it. It’ll be kind of between concept and prototype, of course at full-scale. It’s definitely not manufacturing prototype.” See the promised specs.

First 100 units: As the prototype is being built and throughout 2019, fundraising will continue. Hanchett was late for our scheduled call because he was speaking with a prospective investor. He wants to raise “upwards of $100 million” to build the first 100 vehicles by the end of 2020.

These first vehicles will be very custom-built. There’s no word on price, but Hanchett said the first trucks would not be the promised $45,000, 300-mile vehicles. Like Tesla and other EV-makers, the company will start with the highest priced variants.

Atlis XT Pickup Truck

Hanchett is currently in discussion with a number of unnamed Chinese battery suppliers who he believes will provide what’s needed for the Atlis XT truck to meet its long-range, quick-charging targets. The company’s staff will grow but not by a lot. He said that he’s already receiving resumes from experienced industry professionals looking to join Atlis.

The Vision Persists

I asked Hanchett if he’s holding firm to building a 500-mile pickup that charges faster than 350 kilowatts – beyond what any production EV can do today. He replied, casually: “Yeah.”

“So you’re thinking that by the end of next year you’re going to put out 100 units of a truck using a battery and charging system that does not exist today?

“This is our objective. Yes.”

He then explained that the first batch of trucks would not yet be supported by a vast network of 15-minute charging stations. “Maybe save that for later,” he said. “But if we can deliver 100 vehicles to very early customers and get charging stations deployed in locations that make it easy for them to have the best possible experience, that in my mind is a win.”

Before we signed off, I asked Hanchett if he would be willing to answer questions that you, dear readers, post in the comments below.  He agreed. So, what would you like to know from the CEO of Atlis Motor Vehicles?

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117 Comments on "Exclusive Interview: Founder of Atlis Electric Trucks Exudes Confidence"

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My questions are:
1. Tesla will soon jump into the electric pickup truck market.
Without having the specs for Tesla’s, how will Atlis’ differentiate from Tesla’s pickup, as well as Rivian’s?

2. Where will Atlis build its trucks?

Great article. Thanks!

My thought is Rivian is the one that caught Tesla unprepared with how advanced they are in their production/design stages (they are much further along). To the point where Tesla seems to have pulled forward their pickup plans. This Atlis doesn’t even have a prototype yet, where as Rivian has been testing their platform under various existing pickups for some time in a stealthy fashion.

I think Rivian is at least a few years ahead of Tesla at this point, but they are still new at production. They made the same play as Tesla did originally, going for an untapped section of the market. I think Atlis is just looking for investor dollars and is maybe more like Nikola, but maybe I am wrong.

With Tesla manufacturing thousands of battery packs per week,manufacturing thousands of motors per week, manufacturing thousands of vehicles per week, delivering thousands of vehicles per week, and servicing thousands of vehicles per week it isn’t anywhere near “years” behind Rivian, if at all.

Rivian can’t cannibalize current vehicle sales because it doesn’t have any. Tesla doesn’t want Tesla potential customers putting off buying a sedan or SUV because they want the pickup Tesla has unveiled. So they will wait much closer to Job1 to do that. Rivian can start collecting reservations years ahead of time.

Yeah. Rivian does appear to be ahead of Tesla in making a working prototype of its R1T SUT, the so-called “pickup”, but that certainly isn’t any indication that Rivian’s EV tech in general is ahead of Tesla’s, let alone “years” ahead.

Let us please remember the rule of thumb that as new EV models approach production, they tend to get more expensive and the range tends to drop. Perhaps Rivian can buck this trend, as GM did with the Bolt EV, but it’s still the trend. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the R1T and the R1S have an MSRP somewhat higher than Rivian is currently estimating.

Wouldn’t it be fine if they’d build one together? Or at least capitalize on each other’s situation. How would that work?

I recall Elon got excited about trucks before the Rivian announcements, not sure if he knew about Rivian’s plans already or if he just got excited for other internal reasons. Either way it’s good to start thinking about addressing that market if the cells have dropped in price enough to make it practical – even as a luxury product at first.

Without a doubt this company will be contracting out manufacturing in China.

No chance. This will be built here in the US.

Within the realm of your patent technology can your present platform readily adapt future battery innovation as plug and play? Meaning, if we own one of your present platform now can we request for battery replacement on every current availability of future battery innovation? If possible, how much would be the spending more or less?

Atlis is a SCAM plain and simple,,
this Hatchet man sounds like a used car salesman promising more then able to deliver.,
Id love to be proven wrong if he could explain
Where will they get Baterries from,,
btw 15 min battery charge does NOT exist now
Where will they get motors from ?
Where is their factory so we can see the truck being build?
Those fancy photoshop pics are just fantasy.
Finaly it takes way more then milion $ to start ev vehicle company,,
Musk invested BILLIONs of his own money in Tesla for example plus huge team of experts

Creating a charging network is a bold and expensive route, why not share the charging network with Tesla.
I sincerely hope that you do succeed and I believe Tesla is ready to help other EV manufacturers succeed, so you might want to get in touch with them to learn what worked for them, as knowledge is one thing, but experience is a different beast and can be learned from each other
I like Tesla’s approach of unified fight for environment and you are doing the same thing. Really like it

They clearly have an incentive to use Tesla’s network, but what is Tesla’s incentive to let them? I don’t think it would be a stretch to imagine a call where Atlis asks what it would cost to do that, and someone from Tesla quotes a jaw dropping price, which stops the idea dead in its tracks.

In general, this is one of the things about our short- and mid-term EV future that worries me: The fragmented, dodgy nature of public chargers. Spend some time spelunking on plugshare, for example, you’ll see a lot of public charge points that are in terrible locations, reported to run at much lower than claimed rates, are often out of service, etc. Right now, the gold standard for public chargers is Tesla, but that’s a problem because they’re brand-specific facilities. We need public charging to be as hassle free as gas stations — see one, pull in, plug in, and after a short delay get back on the road, with little to no advance planning. We’re nowhere close to that ideal today.

Tesla already said that they where willing to offer their network to other manufacturers

Musk says a lot of things.

Smaller OEMs have inquired about accessing Tesla’s network. None were willing to accept Tesla’s terms.

Which OEMs, which terms, source please.

The only terms I have heard is that it would not be free. They would have to pay for the power they use.

It makes no sense for the car maker to pay for the energy. It should be the car owners who do that when they charge at a Tesla station, just like with gasoline stations.

Lets say this is true, well that’s no issue, they can pass that to their customers at the “pump” if they want. Would be like the Netflix business model.

I would be surprised if the demand was for them to foot a certain portion of the infrastructure costs bill based on their share of the usage instead though.

I don’t think paying for energy is the issue. Tesla wants any partner auto manufacture to participate in the capital expenditure of installing charging stations. The only time a manufacturer would have to pay for the energy is when they offer discounts or free charging as an incentive to sell their products.

Startups Renovo and Bollinger Motors were interested plus one more I can’t remember.

Don’t know if Bollinger’s only communication to Tesla was twitter.

JB Struabel has said in the past they were in negotiations with several OEMs.

Elon said years ago they were likely to have a deal with a non-German European OEM.

None of this has resulted in 1 deal.

I am not your research assistant so you can google yourself if you want sources.

I wasn’t even talking to you, so what’s with this talk of you not being my research assistant. I was talking to the guy who is big on talk but short on backing up his strong statements.

Let’s both just relax and listen to those crickets;)

You’re right about Bollinger and the one tweet about using Superchargers; I had forgotten that. Haven’t seen anything since.

But Google doesn’t seem to know anything about Renovo using Tesla Superchargers.

Yeah, Doggy, I’ll echo Chris O here: Can you provide any evidence to back up your assertion, or are you just blowing smoke?

We don’t know the T’s & C’s that Tesla are attaching to this offer.
At the time of the offer the there really wasn’t a fast charging network but that is changing fast so IMHO it isn’t so much of an impediment these days. but I could be wrong…

Yes, but at what cost?
Bollinger publicly asked (via Twitter) and Elon/Tesla said nothing.
I’m sure Elon would be cool with others using their Network, but it will not be free. They will have to help pay for new ones, or some kind of licensing/subscription fee.

Hello Lou,

The fragmented ecosystem, lack of long term viability with existing charging stations, and the odd placements are some of the many reasons we’re looking at this particular area.

Not all vehicle owners can charge at home, and it’s important that we create solutions that also work for them. Not all trips involve a destination that’s viable for charging, your time is valuable, and I believe it’s naive to think all business will invest the capital to place charging stations in all parking spaces for their employees. We need solutions that are long term focused, with a broad perspective of the entire user base, not just early adopters.

Our plan is not to remain singular to Atlis Motor Vehicles, but to work with others to integrate this technology into their vehicle platforms. It doesn’t make sense to invest in infrastructure for vehicles that were built yesterday or are even being built today, it makes more sense to invest in infrastructure and technology for the vehicles we’ll be building over the next 5-10 years.

Mark

“It doesn’t make sense to invest in infrastructure for vehicles that were built yesterday or are even being built today, it makes more sense to invest in infrastructure and technology for the vehicles we’ll be building over the next 5-10 years.”

Hello Mark,
I agree with your statement above, so does Tesla when it comes to charging their Semi. You should get in on the ground floor with Tesla on the protocol, plug and infrastructure required to charge the Tesla Semi and consider a partnership to incorporate that into your Atlis Truck. A partnership between the two companies will instantly legitimize yours.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) is a nonbinding agreement between two or more parties outlining the terms and details of an understanding, including each parties’ requirements and responsibilities.

NPNS! SBF!
Volt#671 + BoltEV + Model 3

In Europe Tesla will be using CCS and in China it will be using GB/T. The CCS network in the USA is growing rapidly thanks to the efforts of Electrify America (a VW Group subsidiary) and others. Electrify America has a strong incentive to install 350KW chargers because of the Porsche Taycan (Porsche is also part of the VW Group).

CCS looks to me like a much better choice in the USA going forward. I would not be surprised if Tesla chargers in the USA are retrofitted to support CCS just as it is already being done in Europe.

Hello Nelson, we are watching Tesla’s development of the charging system for the Semi truck. A partnership with Tesla, provided the solution is adequate for the customer experience truck owners desire, is definitely on the table for discussion.

“…I believe it’s naive to think all business will invest the capital to place charging stations in all parking spaces for their employees.”

Why would they need to? The companies investing in infrastructure for EV chargers in parking lots should be the companies that will profit from them. I hope that local electric utilities will get into that market; they have the equipment and personnel already trained to do installations like that, and it would be a new source of revenue for them.

“…it makes more sense to invest in infrastructure and technology for the vehicles we’ll be building over the next 5-10 years.”

Hear, hear! Well said, sir.

“They clearly have an incentive to use Tesla’s network, but what is Tesla’s incentive to let them? I don’t think it would be a stretch to imagine a call where Atlis asks what it would cost to do that, and someone from Tesla quotes a jaw dropping price…”

If some real EV startup, such as Rivian, approached Tesla with a request to join the Supercharger network, I could very easily see Elon offering them very attractive terms to get them on board. After all, Tesla would like to see their own charging protocol become the universal standard, so why would they turn down a company which appears to have a future?

On the other hand, if it was me, I would run, not walk, away from any proposal from a sham company like Atlis. I expect Elon can see all the red flags of another “All hat and no cattle” company as well as I can.

Musk is on record multiple times, since day 1, saying he encourages others to build electric vehicles. The Bloomberg types dismiss such talk as some kind of Peyote-driven flash-back. Assisting your competition?
Remember Windows is one thing that comes to mind. Gates made the best product and then gave it away to the world at cost.
Musk is genuinely interested in saving the planet. The others appear indifferent on that, because often their other products are emission contributors. Tesla has the ethical and moral high ground to the extent that it’s a small mountain now. The others must extricate themselves from their grimy past first.

Mark told me that Atlis plans to partner with other charging networks. But he’s definitely intent on building his own charging station with unprecedented fast rates of charging. The company talks about 1,500-kW.

That is probably impossible. Unless they’re using solid state batteries (which don’t exist)

LTO can charge that fast. They don’t have the required energy density for cars, or even trucks. Toshiba’s new SCiBs (TNO) might work for pickups, but would still be much heavier than Tesla’s batteries.

Not impossible, just improbable based on the current narrative only. Solid state batteries do exist, but from our analysis of the technology, there is greater hype than realism in terms of a holistic solution due to several challenges with the technology. These challenges will be overcome eventually, so we’re planning for that shift when it does happen.

This is correct. To achieve long term viability and reduce long term recurring capital expenses we need to be working on solutions that work across a wider range of vehicle options and experiences. Existing investments and networks are great for small passenger cars with small battery packs. However, the largest and fastest growing markets are trucks and SUVs with larger battery packs that provide greater range. We need practical solutions for those growing markets that meet customer expectations.

Like gas stations they could build different networks all they want, competition is good for everybody. Just be sure that any car, can use any network. That’s what should happen. If some try cornering the space with proprietary charging systems, as a consumer I’d back away, unless I lived next door to one that no one else knew about. Not going to work.

If the plan is just to hand-assemble cars/trucks, his odds are better. But if he plans on any type of mass production, he’ll soon find out what Elon did, building automobiles is very, very, hard.

With any new introduction of a vehicle, it’s important to get it right then over promise on manufacturing capabilities and ramp. It’s also equally important that we ramp manufacturing as fast as possible to ensure continued growth in the market. To start, I’d rather have 100 super happy customers than 1,000 truck owners with a mediocre experience. It’s also not just about manufacturing, we need infrastructure in place to support these vehicles and customers. We’re developing plans and having early conversations with potential partners in each of these areas to better understand how these relationships should be structured before we make serious commitments. These discussions and strategies are not easy, as we work to find a common solution that can work across different regions with very different requirements. Example: Texas versus California regarding and how we handle direct sales and service. We must also take this strategy into consideration when building the vehicle. Our vehicle design is very much so modular, meaning you will be able to replace the entire drive system which includes the motors, controllers, gearbox, suspension, and subframe assembly on the side of the road. This makes remote service solutions a much more viable alternative to capital… Read more »

I wish you luck. Just giving you a heads up as someone who designs automation for the auto industry, there is so much involved, and so many players, it can quickly get overwhelming.

Agreed

I think that is why he wants $100 million for the first 100 trucks, it will not take a million dollars to built each truck but after the trucks are built the assembly lines and the factory will still remain for the building more.

You don’t build 100 vehicles on an assembly line. You build them by hand in a small factory somewhere. The cost to install a real auto assembly line would easily eat up all that $100 million, and likely far more.

But $100 million to build 100 vehicles isn’t a realistic number. A real EV startup would spend far more than that just for prototype development.

A realistic amount for funding an EV startup is around $1.5 billion.

Hello Pushmi, the most visible failed startups have spent $1.5 billion or more for their prototype vehicles, however the most successful startups you’ll find spent far less. I’ve been watching these failed startups closely as I’ve progressed through the development of Atlis Motor Vehicles. The high-level lesson is: I have many wants or “wouldn’t it be cool if” scenarios that I’d love to put into the the pickup truck, but to keep cost low with high confidence and reliability in the brand, we need to left the cool ideas fly free, and remain focused on what matters the most.

If a truck with a battery of 500 mile range is towing at 20,000 lbs capacity, what is the projected range the truck will perform?

Hi Todd, this is difficult to estimate given the different aerodynamic properties of the trailer load you’re towing. A flat trailer versus a 5th wheel can be a big difference.

You should expect to see similar changes in your available range that you would experience in fuel mileage with an ICE vehicle. It’s not an exact comparison, and with an EV we can recover energy during braking and downhill travel.

Who is the finance CFO in your company? Their background?
All of this appears nonsensical to put it mildly. What was given to the 2,000 $500.00 investors?

Investors who participated in our regulation CF offering purchased common stock of Atlis Motor Vehicles along with several incentives.

We have an open position for a CFO and are actively looking at candidates.

Mark

Yeah, with only six employees, I didn’t think they had a CFO.

Hi Mark, how sure are you that your team will stick with you until the end? How motivated they are to finish the project? Are they earning enough to sustain and maintain the team? I am asking these questions because a lot of situations in the past most team doing certain projects big and small were disbanded and trying to start their own or sell the trade secrets to big Corporations for self interest. CAn you comment on this. Thanks

Sounds more like a dream and less like a plan. But here’s my question for him. How many vehicles he thinks he should sell before breaking even?

(copied from another comment reply) Profitability for the business per year, not per vehicle, we are estimating at 60,000 vehicles per year.

How can I be part of the fund raising to contribute my little money into the future of the company?

Go to https://www.startengine.com/atlis-motor-vehicles. Very detailed website, will answer almost all of your questions. I invested quite a bit last week. Money I can afford to lose, but I hope I will not.

So what is it exactly that Atlis brings to the table that gives it a chance to make it in the electric truck market that’s already being targeted by much better qualified rivals like Tesla and Rivian? Their impressive CGI skills and slick talking CEO will only get it so far….

I think the design is better than the latest from Detroit. Really hope they pull it off!

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but what does this design have on Rivian and Bollinger? I don’t see the unique selling point nor anything else Atlis is bringing to the table that makes me feel it has a chance to make it.

A better design doesn’t seem important to you? Rivian is a toy with a very small bed, not a real useful truck. I think that Atlis, with 8 ft bed available, will have a wider appeal if it becomes available. At this point all the EV Trucks are IFs and WHENs. Sure, Atlis is further back in development than the others, but none of them is a reality yet.

Rivian has two real working prototypes; prototypes which appear to be production-quality.

Atlis has a really good computer artist and a very large amount of hype.

This answer is long-winded, so I apologize for that. It’s important to understand your target market. Rivian’s focus is the luxury adventure vehicle market. Similar vehicles in their market might be considered the Honda Ridgeline, Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger, GMC Canyon/Chevy Colorado, Toyota 4 Runner. Bollinger’s truck is a utility vehicle with a specific purpose and fits into a segment of F150 buyers looking for more specific purpose-built features. Both great options. Tesla’s proposal is unclear and we are well aware of their capabilities. In all of these cases, the trade-offs of owning an electric vehicle are considered acceptable within their core customer base. We’re aiming for people who buy trucks for what the pickup truck can do, and what you can do to them — 1/2 Ton to 1 Ton pickup trucks that can work and play. We wanted a vehicle that was easy to work on, so if it breaks down in the middle of a farmer’s field, you can fix it. A modular architecture that can expand into adjacent markets, something that incumbents think is impossible, without the expensive capital expenses. Imagine today you’re buying an F250. You need to navigate the complexities of which engine, transmission,… Read more »

The design comes from a computer artist. It has no real-world constraints on it.

The article says:

“Hanchett believes the secret to succeeding when other EV startups have failed is staying lean, focusing on execution, and showing tangible results.”

Well, so far, Atlis has shown exactly zero tangible results, yet Hanchett is claiming they will have their first deliveries in less than two years.

Is (or was) there some other EV startup that claimed it would sell cars in less than two years after their first big public announcement, before they had even built their first prototype? Yeah, it’s called “Faraday Future”. Atlis, sadly, seems to be following in the footsteps of that sham company.

In the real world, new automobile models take about 5 years to go from concept to rolling off the assembly line, even for experienced auto makers.

Pushmi, You seem very passionate to attack Atlis without having a thorough understanding of their business model and plans to enter market. Is everything ok? Or is it just fun to be a critic? I was enjoying reading through the comments, questions, and answers from Mark, but am getting annoyed by your input because it doesn’t seem to be offering anything of substance or of value. Legitimate challenges or the occasional suggestion would be far more interesting. Try changing it up rather than endlessly berate. Just a friendly challenge!

When in 2020 do they believe to be starting? I am hoping for a month. But quarter would also work…

Keillor – Q4 deliveries is the current plan.

Question: What will Atlis as a company look like or where will it be on its journey five years from now?

HI Joe, in 5 years we have several very specific goals.

– Deployment of 8,000 AAC stations along highway corridors and in a large number of partner locations along major freeways and travel lanes in cities.
– Minimum 31,000 XT pickup trucks on the road
– Minimum 1,000 XP platforms delivered to vehicle up-fitters

Visionary goals
– The launch of a mid-size pickup truck
– The launch of a medium duty truck

My questions are:
1. Like it or not you will have to scale up in terms of personnel. 6 people can’t do everything that will be needed to be done – like handling compliance with those pesky safety standards. What is your growth plan?
2. How do you intend to avoid using early adopter customers as Beta testers? Tesla has been lucky to have forgiving customers who apparently laugh off mismatched door interior panels and bumper covers that fall off. Will you depend upon forgiving customers as well?

The bumper underpanel tore off while driving through water. Way to sling mud without attracting too much attention.

And it only happened to 2 cars out of 300.000 cars produced.

Agreed! We’re looking to add over 50 individuals this year and continue scaling through the next several years. By the end of 2020, we should have over 200 individuals with rapid growth from this point forward. It’s important that we avoid growing too fast, yet appropriate for the product demand and scope of what we’re looking to accomplish. Fast growth without a plan leads to wasteful spending, too slow and we miss our market opportunity. Tesla is in a unique position with early adopters, as they’ve come to accept mistakes are possible. At this stage of the electric vehicle market and as a new entrant, it’s more important that our initial customer experience is positive, even when things do go wrong. We do have a plan in development for some of our initial customers to participate in a “trial” vehicle program. While you can test day and night in a lab, or on a proving ground, the real testing and issues come to light when you put a vehicle in customers hands. We’ve had a tremendous number of customers express interest in testing our vehicle under their typical conditions, and we’d love to get their feedback before we release a… Read more »

Dude, can’t you put a sock in your serial Tesla bashing for once? Adults are talking about an important subject here.

I like the design better than the latest from Detroit, or new Tacoma. Really hope they pull this off!

Thank you! I’ll let the team know.

Tell whoever did the CGI that’s really good work. I dabble a bit in rendering stuff, but nothing even close to that.

Just one question: What are you smoking?

Why do people that have nothing intelligent to offer insist on posting?

My questions, as if I were an investor:
What is your gross margin planned per unit?
When/what volume rate do you expect to be profitable?
What percentage of supplier contracts or letters of agreement do you have in place versus how many you need?
Based on aforementioned contracts and percentages set up, how confident are you on your target purchase price?
How will your vehicles be serviced outside of Arizona? Outside of the USA?
Is it your intention to actually make these vehicles or make prototypes and be acquired by GM/Ford/FCA?

Gross Margin: Current estimates once we’ve reached proper production rates is 20%. I could potentially go into depth on many concerns related to how this is affected, send us an email with further questions. Volume for profitability: We’re talking profitability for the business per year, not per vehicle, we are estimating at 60,000 vehicles per year. We don’t disclose those numbers, but there are still a number of contracts yet to be negotiated. A vast majority of big-name suppliers with stringent relationship “start” requirements that take years to develop. We are instead working with smaller partners who can move quickly. Confidence in our target price is high. It does take volume manufacturing and established processes to be profitable at said prices. The most significant cost risk items are typically the battery pack systems, and we’ve received quotes that put us in line with our target costs. We’ve done an extensive cost analysis on the entire vehicle to ensure confidence in our estimates. We are focused on gaining market acceptance and growth; profitability may be sacrificed in the beginning to ensure positive customer experience and continued growth in the market. As stated in a previous comment, our vehicle design has service… Read more »

Where are they planning to build these trucks?

We are looking for a longer term location and will announce plans later this year. Our strategy is similar to others, reduce cost by acquiring an existing facility.

Short term, to ensure we can deliver vehicles on time as expected, we’ll be running a smaller line with more manual processes. This will involve portions of manufacturing being handled by contract manufacturers and partners. A great example is body panels and body in white structures which can be assembled in separate facilities and shipped to an AMV facility for final assembly. This same strategy can be applied to other aspects such as drive systems, sub-frame assemblies, and interior systems.

My questions:
– Will the trucks have four wheel steering? I saw that listed in the specs for the XP platform but not for the trucks themselves.
– From the pictures on the website of the chassis being built, it looks like you are using welded steel. Is that a temporary cost saving step or will the production vehicles also use a steel chassis instead of aluminum?
– When will you be testing a full size prototype of the battery?
– How will the life of the battery be affected by frequent charging at 4C rate?
– Has anybody shown serious interest in licensing your fast charging battery technology?
– Has anybody shown serious interest in licensing your XP platform?
– What is the expected energy efficiency (kwh/mile) of the initial trucks ?
– The company’s total assets are currently listed as $609.00 and net income as -41,400.00. Is that information current, and how often you expect to update financial figures listed in your website?

Hi Tid – The ultimate goal is four-wheel steering, with an option for independent controls for trailer and on trail maneuvers. Also, with independent wheel motor control, who doesn’t want the ability to pivot your vehicle in place like a tank? — My Vision: Independent steering at each wheel. I see some very cool possibilities in stability control. Independent wheel steering would require a tremendous amount of engineering effort, and has been placed on a shelf until a later date. – The chassis for the prototype is built out of steel due to cost and speed. We’re looking at an alternative style of frame construction that can still be cheaply manufactured but doesn’t follow the typical H-frame construction. – We’ll be testing a much larger pack soon. The AAC will not be ready until early 2020, but more recently a higher powered CCS station has been installed locally here in the Phoenix area and we’re gearing up for a live test. We were planning on inviting some press and friends/investors when we do the live demo. – 4C is the average charge rate, but we’re quite confident we’ll achieve our 10 years expected life. With higher charge rates, you can… Read more »

More questions:
– Does your fast charging technology require specially designed cells or can it work with off the shelf cells from major manufacturers?

Hello Tid,

We’ve achieved unique results with off the shelf cells, but to get long cycle counts severe cold and hot temperature performance, and high safety a custom cell design is required. We are aware of other cell manufacturers developing fast-charging cells, in most cases unless we’re looking at solid state cells, these batteries have much lower energy density than what is used in a typical EV application.

Of note: Cylindrical cell designs are not capable of performing fast charging results without a drastic reduction in energy density and different chemistry than NCA used in leading manufacturer’s vehicles.

“He wants to raise ‘upwards of $100 million’ to build the first 100 vehicles by the end of 2020.”

Well, until that point in the article, I was hoping that perhaps I was wrong about Atlis; that perhaps there was some hope that it would turn out not to be a sham company after all.

But that’s utterly unrealistic. Only $100 million to build the first 100 vehicles? Try adding another zero to that figure, at least.

And Atlis currently has only six employees? Well, that kinda says it all, doesn’t it?

I wonder how many of those first 100 vehicles are meant to be used as test mules. Surely they are not going to be selling vehicles to the public without first doing extensive testing in all sorts of terrains and weather conditions, right? Also some of them will be needed for crash testing.

To put things in perspective, I read that Porsche has built more than 100 test mules for the Taycan, and they are being tested in various locations around the world.

I was wondering the same: Just how many of that initial run of 100 vehicles would they be absolutely required to use for testing, including crash testing, before they would be allowed to sell a single one to the public?

If it’s intended as a high-volume vehicle, then they will need hundreds of units for testing. But if it’s intended as a very low production vehicle, then I rather suspect they can get away with far less.

I certainly don’t want to put words into the mouth of Mr. Hanchett, especially not after expressing strong skepticism over the claims he’s making, but trying to read between the lines of his comments here, perhaps Atlis intends a two-stage development process, with an initial very limited run of its BEV pickup, and then a later tooling up for mass production of the same vehicle.

I doubt that will actually happen, even if Atlis is a success; historically, any company developing a vehicle for sales would make major changes between the limited-production vehicle and the mass produced ones, so the latter would be a different model.

How long will it take to fully charge the Atlis truck from your home just using 110V or 220V?

Hello Chirs, this depends on what your 110V or 220V system allows and which battery pack your vehicle has. We’re developing an onboard 24KW charger, which exceeds some of the existing EV plug standards today but would be very capable of charging your vehicle overnight.

i admire Mr. Hanchett’s fortitude to venture into the mosh pit here, but his photoshopped truck looks very much like what I experienced when purchasing a nice 8 x 10 foot hot tub. One mail order model had all the goodies, including a Video Screen to watch movies which is not available anywhere else. Stupidly, I sent them a Deposit before checking them out. Then I found out that people had been waiting months for the product, and no one actually received the photoshopped product. This Atlis truck similarly has every feature conceivable, whether people can actually afford to implement the features, or not. On a Mirage such concerns don’t matter.

I called and the told the rep WHO OTHERWISE WOULD NOT accept cancellation of the order that I had stopped payment since I was a “Little Short” this month and I started telling THEM a song – and – dance about how I just loved the unit and would almost assuredly re-order in the very near future once my finances would allow.

I never actually got good enough ‘finances’ to throw away $20,000 – who knows what the future will hold.

Building a new charging system is a recipe for disaster. Stick with 150-350kW+ CCS. Easier to build with a known standard. Otherwise, the pickup looks cool. Hiring the right automotive people will be the next step. Remember, Elon’s claim to fame was Paypal before getting into Tesla.

Hello MTN, the issue with CCS is that it’s accepted by the current electric vehicle community, but not the customer base we’re aiming for. We need convenience, and 1 hour charge times doesn’t cut it.

That being said, we recognize that it will take time to roll-out the AAC systems, and we want our customers to have the best possible experience. On the front of the vehicle, to the lower right of the frunk gate, you’ll see the location for the CCS v2.0 charging inlet.

It’s going to Huge! And Fantastic! Believe Me! 🙂

Mark, I have a few questions if you could answer. 1. Will your battery pack have active cooling ( Tesla, GM, etc). 2. What are your autonomy plans if any. I have read some of your replies in this forum and it appears as though your target segment is the “real truck” market. Buyers in that segment are less likely to be willing to pay a premium for or utilize that type of feature beyond perhaps adaptive cruise. 3. Later down the road once you have achieved volume ( 100k+ ). Do you have any midsize truck plans? Toyota sells a large number of Tacomas ever since Ford withdrew the Range for NA market 7 years ago. Time will tell just how nervous Toyota should be since the Ranger is back. That being said the midsize market is huge and Ford and GM/Chev are the only ones who are offering work oriented trim. This is a huge opportunity once pack price drops (2022-2025ish) as you don’t have the expense of the emissions system components or the R&D to develop and certify. 4. If you can’t answer this completely I understand. Do you expect in the next 2-5 years to bring… Read more »
Hello Diesel. 1 – Yes, but unlike the existing options on the market, our cooling system is proprietary and unique. No cold plates here. 2 – Integration with a partnership. The race to autonomy doesn’t have a clear winner yet. We’ve had preliminary conversations with several potential partners, but nothing concrete has been established. To be successful, at a minimum the hardware integration must be solidified by Q2 2019 if we have any hope of getting a system into the 2020 vehicles. I can tell you that whatever system we integrate must fit within the design constraints of the vehicle itself. No pods sticking out. To your other point, our trucks are meant to get dirty, so the expectation should be that autonomy may not always be available. 3 – Mid-size truck is on the roadmap yes. What we do here though, might be a bit different than the norm. A question might be: How can we get more utility, such as more bed and storage space, from a mid-size truck without sacrificing capability? 4 – Vertical integration, especially with cell production, has proven to be an almost necessary solution and the ROI of such an investment can be achieved… Read more »

Do you think that GM, RAM, and Ford are also working on pure EV’s but cannot say anything publicly yet as to not upset current ICE Truck buyers. And if so, do you welcome and support it as much as Elon Musk welcomes Legacy Auto Makers going full speed ahead in the EV market to better our World?
Love what you’re talking about and trying to put forth. Once Pickup Trucks go Full EV the era of ICE will pretty much be obsolete.
Good luck and cannot wait.

Never ignore the incumbents and always assume they’re working on the same things you are. Additional EV solutions in this market space is not a bad thing, although I want to be the only player in the space, the reality is that the pickup truck market is enormous, with a large variety of customer needs and wants. Typically competition drives innovation, reduction in price, and better customer experiences. The differences between manufacturers have begun to blur together lately. To stand out, we need something different, an alternative business model that reduces your barriers to entry and drives real change in how vehicles are produced, owned, serviced, and what we do with them when they die.

I like to think bigger, beyond just the vehicle, and take a holistic approach to the problem. The vehicle is important, it’s what you interact with every day, but the experience you have when you own that vehicle will bring you back.

Thank you for the support.

He wondered why pickup trucks were not being electrified. “I couldn’t answer that question,” he said.

Price. Batteries are expensive today ($100+ / kWh) and in 2013, they were twice that or more. A 100 kWh pack would have cost $20k (and I think that’s consevative). A pickup like the one you’ve pictured (huge aero penalty) would require 3x the energy for the same range due to aero and tires. If you want to tow, add another 20%-50%. That’s $60k-$80k using 2013 prices just for the battery. Did you not see a $60k, 300 kWh battery as reason?

Manufacturers tend to shoot advertising jargon that will say price starting at, carry as much as, to as far as, but these stats don’t coexist at the same benchmark level. I want to know what I will get from all the important features at certain set price levels. What kind of range, towing capacity, carrying capacity, acceleration (loaded and unladen) will I get for $45000, $60000, $75000, & 90000

Hi Shaun, we’ll launch a configuration for the vehicle late this year. I don’t want to make any promises on high-end vehicle price as that may change, but I do promise not to give you options and bundles that drive the cost up with features you don’t want, just for the feature you do want.

Acceleration: Can we go faster than 5 seconds? The math says we can do it in less than 2 seconds, maybe that’ll be an upgrade down the road? We’ll elaborate more with acceleration early in 2020. I’d also really like to put the vehicle in the hands of some of the bloggers and writers out there to get their perspective on acceleration independently from us. Independent verification is important to us.

Mr. Hanchett. What temperature will your chilled glycol system work at, and how many tons of cooling (12,000 btu/hour) will the cooling system be?

Haha!!!! Down votes for a serious question…. I guess Serious questions are not allowed here anymore.

Looks like he’ll only answer the most vague non-technical questions. No big surprise there.

Glycol coolants are not dielectric. Wouldn’t it be wise to use a dielectric coolant like a silicone oil or an aliphatic? A bit more expensive, but you’d have increased safety and longevity.

Many other companies have used Glycol, as it never actually touches the battery. There are 2 levels of protection from most batteries – first the pouch, or cylindrical can, and then the piping for the cooling system is also sealed from the battery chemicals.

Companies that you probably never heard of, like General Motors, and Tesla, as 2 minor players, can confirm that this method really does provide cooling – even when the coolant’s dielectric properties degrade somewhat.

Seriously, Non-Dielectric coolants are used because of their high thermal conductivity and their rather high specific heat.

Siloxane products can be used in systems from -100C to +400C, have excellent thermal conductivity, and the properties can be adjusted by varying the molecular chain length. Not to mention they are non-toxic and will not conduct current in the event of a crash eliminating the need of extra layers of protection from components, reducing/offsetting cost.

I have extensive knowledge of automobiles, over 20 years experience in aerospace tech, and have taught multiple accredited courses in advanced flight control systems. So, lets not get off topic by turning this in to typical forum banter,”… you probably never heard of…”, and use this opportunity get some good insight and knowledge about Atlis Motors and their developing product.

STO-50 Silicone Transformer Oil or similar product would be an excellent coolant and safety feature for any EV.

Well if I ever carry around a silicone liquid cooled power transformer in my Bolt ev, I’ll know that even though it isn’t plugged in at the moment, that even if I should crash the car my nice transformer is well protected should someone decide to plug it in after the crash, should then I need to run a trouble light or something and press that transformer into emergency crash recovery service, that it will be SAFELY powering the light for my crashed car.

It is rather the same issue as to why is was argued as to why F-16 fighter planes occasionally were equipped with $7,000 “Mr. Coffee” coffee makers, since they were armor plated. If the pilot crashed his jet, at least he could have consolation that he could still have a nice reliable cup of coffee.

You truly have never heard of General Motors or Tesla Motors, Inc.? Well, that is certainly excusable as you say, and certainly would not disqualify you from becoming Chief Engineer at Atlis. Hummm, sounds like you have even more expertise than PUSHI. You taught ‘Advanced Flight Control Systems’? IF this is a serious point, don’t you trust the containability of pounches and the intactness of Panasonic’s battery cells? Or even the relative leak-proof-ness of water piping? In High voltage equipment, one usually worries about dielectric fluids since, in moist air, they will spark over, but two basic things: 1). Batteries used in current day automobiles are not High voltage. They are LOW. 2). The cooling ‘non-dielectric’ coolant is Double-Insulated from the battery chemicals and electricity – exactly as much as some MAINS powered power tools in your home are doubly-insulated and do not even require a third grounding prong since they are so safe. – Battery coolant used in cars is just as well protected. SO if you think this is all wrong-headed – why not convince Elon Musk that his coolant is totally wrong and that they should change it out immediately. If he won’t listen I really bet… Read more »

I’d like to hear this guy’s progress with either Musk or Fletcher, that is if he isn’t appointed Chief of Technology at ATLIS. – Hummm no demerits this time. hehe.

Within the realm of your patent technology can your present platform readily adapt future battery innovation as “plug and play”? Meaning, if we own one of your present platform now can we request for battery replacement on every current availability of future battery innovation? If possible, how much would be the spending more or less?

And, how sure are you that your team will stick with you until the end? How motivated they are to finish the project? Are they earning enough to sustain and maintain the team? I am asking these questions because a lot of situations in the past most team doing certain projects big and small were disbanded and trying to start their own or sell the trade secrets to big Corporations for self interest. CAn you comment on this. Thanks

I think many people who saw the pictures assumed this was a real truck everyone was sending me videos but after I looked closer I figured out was just very well done Graphic artist. When I checked into his company his corporate address is a tract home in Mesa, AZ. If he has million dollars why is he using a personal home for his corporate address. His pictures are bogus looking guy welding with sides blurred most likely someone else shop don’t want you to see it’s a muffler shop. My guess is nothing will become of this except the money will end up spent on nothing.

Will there be a version that has an 8’ bed for those of us contractors that use our truck for work? When? Cost estimate?

As a layman consumer, I heard about the trucks, saw the rivian, and the bollinger. Looked at the websites, videos, specs, and saw atlis, my first thought was “that’s what I was thinking of when I heard truck.” The other ones have fans and seem pretty cool, but I actually use trucks to do real world work. The bollinger truck still seems more like a Jeep that I wouldn’t want a load of dirt in, and the rivian can’t fit a 4×8 sheet easily. Gotta say though, those mirror cameras seem like a waste of cost compared to simple mirrors for cheaper trim package model at least.

Someone, be it Atlis or someone else, needs to come up with an actual truck. The Rivian is cool, but it is far from a work truck- more like a Subaru Brat. I love that the Atlas has a 6.5′ or 8′ bed. I would trade in my F 250 today if it was an option.

Within the realm of your patent technology can your present platform readily adapt future battery innovation as “plug and play”? Meaning, if we own one of your present platform now can we request for battery replacement on every current availability of future battery innovation? If possible, how much would be the spending more or less?

And, how sure are you that your team will stick with you until the end? How motivated they are to finish the project? Are they earning enough to sustain and maintain the team? I am asking these questions because a lot of situations in the past most team doing certain projects big and small were disbanded and trying to start their own or sell the trade secrets to big Corporations for self interest. CAn you comment on this. Thanks

What i am looking for is a full eight footbed with quad cab, that can handle heavy construction loads. I want to get the 500 mile range. How long is my wait? I am saving up now.