Hong Kong’s Thunder Power Claims To Have Technological Edge Over Tesla

2 months ago by Mark Kane 50

Thunder Power EV

Thunder Power which unveiled its concept electric car almost two years ago at the Frankfurt Motor Show (photos and videos here), says it has an edge over competitors – including Tesla (a frequent comparison in press releases that always makes us cringe). 

Thunder Power EV

The Thunder Power EV with its 125 kWh battery and 400 miles of range was originally planned for introduction in 2017 (Europe) and 2018 (China), followed by U.S.

Apparently, that ‘edge over Tesla’ isn’t speed to market…moving on.

As of today, the Hong Kong-based company has filled more than 350 patent applications in the U.S. and China (maybe that is the edge?).

70 have been granted, including one of the apparently most important – a modular chassis system – “that allows flexibility in the design of future car models, making development and assembly faster and more cost-efficient“.  Hrm, sounds familiar.

Thunder Power’s goal is to build most desirable EV in China, but like most OEMs with China-dreams, they can’t refrain from referencing Tesla.  WardsAuto explains:

““An obvious difference between us and (U.S. EV maker) Tesla is we have the key technologies before actually investing in manufacturing,” Wellen Sham, Thunder Power CEO, tells WardsAuto at a launch event in Shanghai.”

““We are the world’s first company that got this modular-chassis patent,”.”

Another in-house developed technologies is thermal-management system for the battery.

Thunder Power EV From Above

The next step for Thunder Power is to build a test fleet of 20 pre-production cars, that will be tested over a period of one year in broad temperature conditions.

“Climatex testing is vital for the Chinese market, where winter temperatures drop as low as -22˚ F (-30˚ C) in the country’s northern reaches. Thunder Power also plans to sell cars in the Middle East, anticipating the region increasingly will welcome EVs that can tap into a fast-growing number of solar-powered charging stations.”

At The Controls Of The Thunder Power EV

We will see the production version, designed by a team in Italy, at the Frankfurt Motor Show in just a few days.

Production is now expected to begin in the third quarter of 2018 and the car to start at RMB500,000 ($73,300) prior subsidies.

While the production facility itself is to be operated in Ganzhou, in the Jiangxi province of China, though a joint venture with the local government of Ganzhou. Facility to cost RMB7.5 billion ($1.1 billion).

“But the current focus, Sham says, is to supply the Chinese market, including Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao, from a plant in Ganzhou in Jiangxi province. A joint venture between Thunder Power and the local government of Ganzhou, the facility’s construction and commissioning is funded with RMB7.5 billion ($1.1 billion) from a local investment fund backed by China’s national development and reform commission.

Thunder Power’s own investment has been in securing its 10 core patents valued at RMB1.3 ($187 million). Thunder Power also will be in charge of the daily management of the facility.”

Thunder Power EV spec:

  • 650 km (over 400 miles) of range
  • 125 kWh battery
  • 320 kW of system power (230 kW in base version)
  • 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in less than 5 seconds
  • replenishment of around half of the battery capacity to take a half-hour

source: WardsAuto

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50 responses to "Hong Kong’s Thunder Power Claims To Have Technological Edge Over Tesla"

  1. John says:

    In my experience, the only person/company in any modality that doesn’t compare itself to anyone or anything else is usually the Gold Standard…

  2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    OHHHH! “Thunder Power”! I can tell that this company has better EV tech than Tesla just because it has “Thunder” in its name!

    😆 😆 😆

    1. floydboy says:

      I was always under the impression power resided in the lightning, not so much the thunder? Well, maybe they got a new patent!

      1. Dr. Miguelito Loveless says:

        Well, thunder is the noisy part, but lightning does the real work

      2. Mister G says:

        Technically there is energy in thunder which causes air molecules to vibrate resulting in thunder.

        1. ffbj says:

          I always thought it was the collapse of the resultant vacuum created by lightning which super-heats the air.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            Perhaps Mr. G was joking? A logical analysis of his assertion will quickly show that he’s claiming thunder creates the energy for its own creation!

            Whatever it is that causes thunder, I’m pretty sure neither perpetual motion nor violation of causality are involved. 😉

            1. Mister G says:

              LOL, my assertion is based on the physics that control the way sound travels…the energy for the thunder sound comes from lightning bolt but the thunder sound has energy to make air molecules vibrate and travel into our ears and up the auditory nerve into the brain. Don’t believe me ask Albert…lol

          2. Mister G says:

            Yes the superheated air is how the energy is transferred into thunder sound (air molecules vibrating).

  3. William L says:

    Glad to hear “We will see the production version, designed by a team in Italy”, because the original version looks so ugly.

    1. john Doe says:

      With new good looking headlight and rear lights – 90% of the job would be done.
      Then it would be OK. No Aston Martin, but with the right price/specs it would sell.

      Now it scares most people away..

  4. JJ says:

    “including Tesla (a frequent comparison in press releases that always makes us cringe)”… Seriously, that’s bit rich coming from the site that compares EVERYTHING to Tesla!

    1. Michael Will says:

      Ha ha, I see your point. But I am also wary of all those tesla killers, Apple giving tesla a run for their money, etc. but it’s probably natural to compare yourself to the market leader and try to reach or exceed what they can do. Looking forward to a real product, like BYD which actually has their e6 model as cabs in the streets, however quality of BYD is said to be subpar when I talked to some locals in ShenZhen, ‘not a tesla’ was also the comparison that came up.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        I have not seen a BYD e6, but I found a review of the build quality a few years ago to be shocking. In many ways, China is still a third-world country!

        If BYD wants to sell cars in first-world countries, they are gonna have to up their game quite a bit. But then, I’ve been told they already have improved that quite a bit in the years since that e6 review.

        1. pale says:

          China has been a second world country. if you have a lil backgound of the terms ” first world” third wold etc

      2. pale says:

        by the way those terms are archaic and some consider it offensive in the non aligned countries. the more appropriate terms they prefer are western bloc communist bloc and non- aligned nations

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          I’ll certainly agree that the definition you’re using for “second world country” vs. “third world country” is archaic. I’m using the terms “first world country” and “third world country” in their modern meanings, with the latter meaning the opposite of “developed nation”.

          And as for some being offended by the term “third world country”, well, some people are going to be offended no matter what anyone says. I’m not a big fan of political correctness; I am a big fan of accuracy in language usage.

          If you’re really interested in the evolving meanings of these terms, there is some discussion here:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_World

      3. john Doe says:

        BYD’s EV is an OK product, that would be very OK. . . IF they were able to get rid of parts with poor material quality.
        Sub par plastic quality and sub par rubber quality – to begin with.
        Then they could follow up on corrotion improvements on nuts/bolts and the car in general. Then they should focus on electronics, with cable quality. I don’t demand silicone, but the PVC or whatever they use as wire insulation need to be better.

        I think it will only be 5-7 years before the quality is OK, and more or less equal to most western brands. They learn very quickly, and invest a lot in fabrication equipment.

        It is only natural that EV manufacturers compare their product to a Tesla, if (and only if) they have a product in the same category/size/prize range.
        Due to the range, there are (was) nobody else to compete with.
        If Tesla continue to deliver leading EV specs, for all their models – they will be the bechmark to compare competing products to.
        Even though Tesla have much room for improvements, they have the fundamentals right.. and some thing more then right 🙂

        I hope the model Y, truck and hopefully a van/minibus will be in a league of their own – so the others have something to beat.
        It’s the only way competition will result in technology improvements.

  5. Courtney vegan says:

    The front reminds me of that guy on preacher. The one that shot himself.

  6. Scott says:

    Pretty sure that is a Buick

  7. Ct200h says:

    Thunder power was/ is the name brand of RC liPo battery manufacturer , any connection?

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Seriously, it sounds like a brand name for a line of action figure toys. Giving that name to an auto maker sounds more than a bit over the top… or even desperate.

      But for this Hong Kong based company, maybe something got lost in translation? 😉

    2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      Are you thinking of Thundersky?

  8. CDAVIS says:

    Wellen Sham, Thunder Power CEO, said:

    “An obvious difference between us and (U.S. EV maker) Tesla is we have the key technologies before actually investing in manufacturing…”
    ——

    Translation:

    An obvious difference between us and Tesla is that we do not invest in manufacturing until Tesla has sufficiently developed something that we can copy and call it our own.

    1. Michael Will says:

      Ha ha, Or: ‘we don’t have products to show but that’s just because we are so busy in renting superior technology’

    2. floydboy says:

      Sham, huh? Well, alrighty then!

      1. ffbj says:

        Isn’t he an associate of Alan Hoax, they used be partners and ran “A Hoax & A Sham”?

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          And isn’t their legal firm Dewey, Cheatem & Howe?

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “…we have the key technologies before actually investing in manufacturing…”

      Well, I admire his bold, if desperate, attempt to put a positive spin on his company not having invested anything in manufacturing. That’s certainly a very real difference between them and Tesla Inc. 😉

  9. Eco says:

    Looks good except for the ?????? (grille) or whatever those ovals in the front are.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      The Chinese love big grilles, or so I’m told. It could be worse… much worse!

  10. Tom says:

    It’s laughably bad but doesn’t need to be good. The Chinese govt is pouring billions and billions. The only 2 quotes you need to read from the articles are:
    …” though a joint venture with the local government of Ganzhou.”

    “…. is funded with RMB7.5 billion ($1.1 billion) from a local investment fund backed by China’s national development and reform commission.”

    I wish the US would bring back that technology loan program in a big way. Yes some of those companies are going to go broke. That’s part of the point…they are too risky in many cases for private investment. But it beats buying weapons or foreign oil. Perhaps we could slice off 5% of the defense budget for it.

    1. fasteddie2020 says:

      This is why China will likely dominate the global automotive market in coming years. The US – and to a lesser extent – are giving the Chinese a huge head start in green transport.

  11. Scott Franco says:

    It was inevitable that makers would assume the “winner” of the EV “race” is the one with higher range numbers. It isn’t true. A 400 mile range car gets you from California to Nevada, but does not make a good cross country car.

    Further, all of the extra added weight for the battery being dragged around each day, when you are NOT using the 400 mile range actually makes the car less efficient.

    1. fasteddie2020 says:

      If Tesla squeezes another 20kWh into the S pack, its 400 mile range goes a long way towards answering a big complaint about electrics: lots of “off route” range. In going cross country, there is usually not enough range to go off the interstate to see national parks, for example.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “…all of the extra added weight for the battery being dragged around each day, when you are NOT using the 400 mile range actually makes the car less efficient.”

      Tch tch, Scott, you should know better than this by now. This issue has been heavily discussed.

      A large battery isn’t merely “extra weight”. It pays off every time you charge the car, because that big battery doesn’t need to be charged as often or charged/discharged as deeply, which means it will last a lot longer than a smaller one. A large battery pack also is capable of being charged faster (in terms of miles added per minute) at a DCFC station.

      And in addition to that large battery pack giving the car the ability to go out for a second trip the same day without needing to be recharged first, it also gives the car a better resale value.

      Furthermore, a few hundred extra pounds doesn’t have that much impact on energy efficiency. You’d lose as much carrying a couple of passengers.

      1. Jim J Fox says:

        Reducing battery weight is a good thing.
        Certainly [according to Newton] energy used for acceleration is mass-dependent… F=Ma, anyone?

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          I presume you’re just being deliberately argumentative. Yes, of course lighter batteries make the vehicle more energy efficient. It’s just that larger capacity batteries are heavier, all else being equal.

      2. Scott Franco says:

        That’s the first time I have heard it “proven” that extra weight does not affect vehicle power efficiency. I suggest you call Tesla and tell them their efforts to reduce vehicle weight with advanced materials is a waste of time!

        1. Bill Howland says:

          Hey he’s proven it as much as anything else he ever says.

          His writing style is sounding better lately, more upscale drivel.

          When I was a kid, and we’d get better pizza, I used to yell out they must be using a better grade of cardboard.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            Poor Bill. It drives him to distraction that someone like me, who doesn’t even drive an EV, understands EVs and the EV industry so much better than he does!
            😀 😀 😀

            Nothing else can explain the salker-ish manner in which he follows me around and posts unprovoked attacks.

            But then, asking for mental stability in a tinfoil-hat hardcore conspiracy theorist is a bit much.

            1. Mark.ca says:

              You know what they say…any publicity is good publicity. You have your first fan stocker! Congrats!
              Bill, after criticizing others for posting useless crap you finally join in….very nice!

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          I am somewhat amused by all the efforts EV makers go to make their vehicles lighter; all that effort to, in most cases, rather little effect. Kudos to BMW for using a mostly carbon fiber composite body, and that did help the BMW i3’s energy efficiency. But aside from the i3, most of the efforts to reduce weight amount to not more than the difference between carrying two passengers in the car, or not.

          In general, improving aero by reducing drag is a far more effective way to improve energy efficiency in a car. Note that Tesla isn’t using that much aluminum in the Model 3, as opposed to the nearly all-aluminum Model S body.

        3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Scott Franco said:

          “That’s the first time I have heard it ‘proven’ that extra weight does not affect vehicle power efficiency.”

          If you really think that’s what I said, then may I politely suggest you take a second look at what I actually said, because that’s not even close.

  12. floydboy says:

    Wow, even their ovals are bigger! I wonder if they have as many preorders as they do patents or is this a case of “build it and they will come”?

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Hundreds of patents, and the CEO seemingly implying that they haven’t invested in manufacturing?

      Sounds more like a patent troll company than a real auto manufacturer.

    2. Mister G says:

      It looks like a hard boiled egg with wheels lol no thanks I’m sticking with Tesla.

  13. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

    “Another in-house developed technologies is thermal-management system for the battery.”

    So, like every manufacturer with a TMS, then.

  14. Mister G says:

    GO THUNDER CATS

  15. Leonita says:

    Is it me or does anyone else find this design looks alike as nissan 370z?

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