Qiantu K50 Enters Preliminary Production – Entering U.S. A Priority

1 year ago by Mark Kane 32

Qiantu Motor K50

Qiantu Motor K50

Qiantu Motor K50

Qiantu Motor K50

Chinese company CH-Auto Technology announced that preliminary production of Qiantu K50 will begin this month.

Interestingly, the all-electric roadster will be available not only in China, but also in the U.S. – if the company’s ambitious plans come true.

Although we have to note that zero Chinese cars are on US roads today, compared to the roughly 5 million claims (more or less) by Chinese automakers over the past few decades that they will indeed someday make them available in the US.

Despite the opportunity for roofless fun, the 0-60 mph time of 4.6 seconds186 miles (300 km) of range, it will be difficult for the K50 to compete with Tesla (especially if currently undisclosed price would be around $100,000), but that apparently is one of the goals.

Qiantu’s chairman Lu Qun said:

“We attach great importance to the US because of its size, and it is also an open market where we see opportunities for our car. We want to be there and compete with others.”

After the initial start-up period, expectations are for Qiantu to produce a “few thousand cars” annually, starting in second half of 2017.

source: South China Morning Post

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32 responses to "Qiantu K50 Enters Preliminary Production – Entering U.S. A Priority"

  1. Spoonman. says:

    A few CODAs did make it on the roads, right?

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Still, that is an American brand, Chinese made car. The article is talking about Chinese brand car as in Chinese company made cars in China and then shipped to US for sales.

      That is why iPhone is an American innovation, not a Chinese innovation!


      People really don’t get this simple difference in concept.

      The only thing you can complain is that Volvo is considered as a Chinese owned company but it doesn’t sell BEVs in the US “yet” and it is made in Sweden.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      And a few BYD e6’s too, I think. At least, one or two people have claimed in posts to InsideEVs that some e6’s were being used as taxis in some cities.

      So yes, I think the article is inaccurate when it asserts “…zero Chinese cars are on US roads today”. Not many… but not zero, either.

      * * * * *

      ModernMarvelFan said:

      “The article is talking about Chinese brand car as in Chinese company made cars in China and then shipped to US for sales.”

      Yes, and CODA was a Chinese-owned company (altho headquartered here in the USA) making cars in China and shipping them to U.S. for sale. The fact that CODA had a couple of non-Chinese “front men” doesn’t alter the fact that CODA was Chinese-owned. Most of the investment money came from China.

      1. Jay Cole says:

        The CODA was a modified Hafei Saibao III, using US design/sourcing of a lot of the e-drivetrain – US sourced motors (UQM our of Colorada) and most of the drivetrain was built in the US (such as the Borg-Warner Gear Reduction transaxle).

        The CODA as it appeared in the US was never sold in China (although a cousin – the Hafei Saibao EV eventually did as they partnered with Lishen to make the car, and Lishen had rights to the IP in China/after CODA went under).

        CODA has been/still is a US company with a plan to US modify and sell a China-sourced platform in the US. Miles Rubin (yes, that Miles) was the founder, with Kevin Czinger tagging along for another kick at the EV can.

        Czinger was ex-Goldman Sachs, and at the time, as CEO of CODA he “bought the money” so to speak via his connections at Goldman’s investment division…and a who’s who of US green investers signed up – like ex-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, Mack McLarty, Clinton’s White House chief of staff; John Bryson, a former U.S. Secretary of Commerce, former BP CEO Lord John Browne, etc.

        The group had a ton of (as Musk likes to say) “hubris” and ended up raising almost ~400 million (if one believes reports…but at least 325 million), designed the fundamentals of the car in California, with the plan to outsource/produce it mostly in China (via Lishen), and then complete the process at a facility in LA (which sucked, and they ultimately tried to go bigger in the Bay Area/Benicia – but it was all over by the time anything really got going there).

        End result was $400 million spent attempting to design an electric car/partially sourcing e-parts in the US, build in China off a Chinese platform, then bring that EV back to sell in the US…total CODA cars sold before bankruptcy? 117

        /lesson learned the hard way

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Thanks for that detailed response, Jay. I learned something today!

          But let’s be clear: The Hafei Saibao, the source of gliders for CODA, is a Chinese made car. Wikipedia says “The Hafei Saibao is a Pininfarina designed 4-door car produced by the Chinese car manufacturer Hafei.”


          1. Jay Cole says:

            No argument for me there on that one…it was pretty much a terrible idea/project all around

          2. ModernMarvelFan says:

            “the source of gliders for CODA, is a Chinese made car. ”

            So, source of the glider made the car a Chinese car?

            You must think the Bolt is a LG Bolt or anything that shares a foreign car body as a foreign car then…

            1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:


              Let me make this explicit, since apparently you didn’t pick up what I meant by writing “I learned something today” in response to Jay’s post:

              It was an exaggeration for me to say the CODA is a “Chinese car”. Jay Cole gave a response to my assertions; a detailed response that made it clear that CODA was an American company, and that the CODA had an EV powertrain designed and assembled here in the USA. All that refutes what I claimed above; so those assertions by me were wrong.

              So, it would be more accurate to call the CODA a Chinese-American car. That is, it had an American EV powertrain installed in a Chinese glider.

              As I recall I had read, back in the day, that the CODA was developed in China, and put thru crash testing according to U.S. standards there, to make sure it could be legally sold in the American new car market.

              From what Jay says here, I now question that what I read previously on this subject was accurate. Jay is seldom wrong on his facts, and I’d have to know a great deal more than I do about this particular subject before suggesting he’s mistaken. That’s doubly so since I was relying on what I remember from reading articles about CODA some years ago, and my memory ain’t perfect.

              MMF, in my opinion this is how Internet discussion of technical subjects should work. Someone makes an assertion; someone else points it out if and when they’re wrong, and provides correct facts to support the correction. Hopefully the cream rises to the top in a discussion, and hopefully everybody involved learns something. That’s why I try to always thank someone who corrects an error of mine… unless they’re being exceptionally obnoxious about it.

              I think it’s too bad that all too many people refuse to admit it when they’ve been shown to be wrong. How can a person learn anything if they refuse to acknowledge errors of fact?

              “’When the facts change, I change my mind,’ John Maynard Keynes once observed in a debate. ‘What do you do, sir?’ Why, sir, they take no notice of changed facts and so are untroubled by such questions.”
              — Rex Murphy

  2. ffb says:

    A Chimera.

  3. DJ says:

    Why would it be difficult to compete with Tesla IF they can come to the US soon? Does Tesla offer a roadster you guys just haven’t written about?

  4. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Sorry, they can’t sell it here without an independent dealer representation!


  5. jelloslug says:

    GM already sells Chinese cars in the US.

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      People are often confused by the simple difference in concepts that a Chinese made car for American company is different from a Chinese made Chinese brand car…


      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Yet you yourself are clearly confused, since you seem to think the CODA was not a Chinese car.

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          “You must have a very short memory to hold up G.M. as an example of financial success. There is more to business than this quarter’s profits.”

          Didn’t Jay already cleared up this?

          CODA is an American car company.

          CODA the car is based on a Chinese Car platform that is why it sucked. But it used many American designed components.

          So, CODA is an American company headquartered in the US.

          I am not sure who is confused here.

          1. ModernMarvelFan says:

            ““You must have a very short memory to hold up G.M. as an example of financial success. There is more to business than this quarter’s profits.”

            Whoops, wrong copy and paste.

            Meant this one:

            “Yet you yourself are clearly confused, since you seem to think the CODA was not a Chinese car.”

            1. ModernMarvelFan says:

              Jay said:

              “CODA has been/still is a US company with a plan to US modify and sell a China-sourced platform in the US.”

              I said:

              “Still, that is an American brand, Chinese made car. The article is talking about Chinese brand car as in Chinese company made cars in China and then shipped to US for sales.”

              Original comment:

              CODA is a chinese car.

              I am pretty sure the confusion should be cleared up by now…

              1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                I posted that before reading Jay’s response.

                I have no doubt he is right, and much of what I originally posted was wrong.

                Okay? Peace, brother EV advocate.

      2. jelloslug says:

        Made in China means the same thing no matter what company owns the factory.

  6. Michael Will says:

    First electric car I see that can go topless, they got something

    1. Foob says:

      I saw a convertible electric smart the other day. Not quite the same thing though 🙂

      1. Matthias says:

        I tried to buy an electric Smart Fortwo convertible and was told they are not available in WA state (and maybe nationally).

    2. ModernMarvelFan says:


      Tesla Roadster didn’t count?

  7. Yogurt says:

    “Although we have to note that zero Chinese cars are on US roads today”

    There are already some BYD e6 EVs on the road in the US…
    Not very many but more than zero…
    It is only a matter of time before BYD brings them to US consumers but that is probably dependant on how fast they expand there battery capacity and if they dont sell everything they make at home first…


    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      No, the main barrier to the BYD e6 (or any other car from BYD) entering the U.S. market is the abysmal build quality. Clearly that’s good enough for the Chinese market, but it’s not good enough for first-world markets.

      Read what someone posted here not so long ago:

      [post to InsideEVs] April 3, 2016 at 11:30 am

      I’ve driven the BYD electric sports utility vehicle (the e6) on a test track in the USA. It is roomy, the dashboard layout was extremely confusing, it had problems going 40mph, the sensor read-out was flickering with the numbers and on the far side of the car from me all the way over by the mirror, the drive mode control was non-intuitive (the park button was completely occluded by the directional lever and not marked), the stitching on the leather seats was loose enough to have wrinkles and quirks, and the exterior had an unexplained structural pipe about 8? long in the front left wheel well that nobody understood. The charge port was an unpolished cut-out in the plastic body panel, held on by a loop of flexible plastic and a friction clip. I am quite sure that it was not weather sealed.

      My BYD experience will forever set the bar for quality and design. The low bar.

      1. Jay Cole says:


        Yes, BYD e6s have come to the US-but no, they have never been offered for retail sale.

        That was what the jist of the statement was getting at (if you don’t take it literally)…no car sold in China from a Chinese company has also been sold in America/been made available to the American people.

        That said, BYD is mostly likely the Chinese company that will first bring a volume retail Chinese made/sold passenger vehicle to the US, they already build buses here, and that factory is tripling up now (in Lancaster to build medium and heavy duty trucks). It is only a matter of when they feel they can sell enough to make it worth it.

        Of interest on the e6: They pulled the plug on the e6 in the US not because they didn’t have faith in their product, or that they couldn’t do it…but they recognized in time what was happening in the US on the plug-in demand side, specifically that the projected demand was no where near what was estimated. (anyone remember the DoE’s prediction in 2011 of selling 120,000 Volts, 100,000 LEAFs a year?)

        Knowing whatever amount of EVs they could sell in the US would only represent a fraction of domestic sales, they pulled the plug near the last minute, and kept all e6s built inside China (even though they had passed all US certs/had been EPA rated) – 10% of 250,000 EV sales a year is significant, 10% of 17,000 is not. The landscape in China was much easier to read, and future EV sales in volume was assured if they just built and delivered the product.

        As I recall, they put out a nice little note, saying something about the infrastructure not being ready…something they of course were aware of 2 years earlier when the announced the e6 would be for sale in the US.

        1. Yogurt says:

          Sorry if I took it too literal but I am not trying to knock anything just pointing out that BYDs car had been aproved to be on US roads in some form…

          Even if BYD wants to come to the US now I dont know if they have enough battery production to make it worth it the way their cars and buses are selling…

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            My understanding is that 50 units of the BYD e6 were sent to the USA for test marketing, but that they were only ever offered for fleet sales. (There was one post to InsideEVs, some time back, from someone who claimed to have visited a California dealership where he could have bought an e6 at retail, but perhaps that post-er was mistaken.)

            I think Jay is splitting hairs a bit when he says the e6 was never offered for sale in the USA. (I’m not disputing his facts; just his defense of Mark Kane’s assertion “zero Chinese cars are on US roads today”. Some or all of those fifty e6’s are on American roads, whether they were retail or fleet sales.)

            Here’s what Wikipedia says on the subject, and let us please all remember that Wikipedia, like any encyclopedia, isn’t always correct:

            In 2009 BYD indicated the e6 would be available in the United States in 2010 at a price just over US$40,000, and planned a rollout beginning in Southern California followed by several American cities. On October 2010 BYD announced that it was delaying its plans and US sales were re-scheduled to 2011. On December 2010 the carmaker announced plans to ship as many as 50 BYD e6 electric cars by the end of 2011 to fleet customers in Southern California, including the municipal government of Los Angeles. BYD plans to sell the e6 model in the US for US$35,000 before any government incentives. One of the biggest obstacles will be passing US crash testing, something which BYD plans to complete in 2011. As of August 2011, sales were scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2012. However, in October 2011 BYD opened its headquarters in Los Angeles, a year behind schedule, and announced that retail sales will be delayed at least for 18 months due to the lack of charging infrastructure.

            In May 2013, BYD announced that the e6 will be sold in the US only to fleet consumers for US$52,000


      2. Yogurt says:

        If that was the post I remember he said hw drove the car a couple of years before the post…

        You can write them off all you want but it is also only a matter of time before BYD has better build quality too…
        Mercedes is partnering with them for the Denza brand in China…
        The e6 is only one of BYDs multiple EVs and plugins and it is overweight and slow but it has been upgraded and there other EVs are much much quicker…

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          I do write off the BYD e6, based on what Vexar posted. Quality of styling, trim, interior finish, upholstery, etc. is of course somewhat subjective, but his comment about the EV charge port not being waterproofed, and held in place only by a friction clip… well, those are statements of (presumably) objective fact, not mere opinion.

          However, if Jay Cole says that BYD is getting close to entering the American market with a PEV (Plug-in EV), then I certainly won’t argue with him! He knows far more about the market than I do.

          There was someone else who made a recent post on InsideEVs — was that Nix? — who claimed that more recent models from BYD show a significant improvement in build quality. Nix is someone else who knows more than I do about the EV industry, and also someone I rarely disagree with.

          * * * * *

          As I have said in several posts to InsideEVs, it’s only a matter of time before some Chinese EV maker enters the U.S. market. And BYD appears to be in the best position to do that, at least as far as a car expected to have some volume of sales. (A smaller company may be able to market a low-volume PEV like the Karma Revero.) If Jay says BYD is getting close, then I expect that will probably happen within a few years.

          1. Jay Cole says:

            I don’t think we’ll ever see the e6 (or something similar in quality/finish) in the US…lets fact it, it’s getting pretty long in the tooth, the design is going on a decade old now. BYD’s other offerings are much, much stronger (Tang, Qin, etc).

            Sidenote: I’m not saying BYD is about to imminently enter the market. I have spoken to them about the topic a couple times, and their mindset is “once the US demand/volume is high enough for EVs to make it worth our time, we are coming” type of mode. The growth/expansion prospects are so high in China, the burden of importing/breaking into the US market is fairly unnecessary/not worth it atm.

            If I had to guess, I would say they are looking in the 24-36 month range at the earliest. So not “quick/soon” by any traditional measure, but “soon” as in relative to any other Chinese OEM.

            That said, they don’t speak like “we are considering if we want to sell cars in the US someday”, it’s a “we are going to sell cars in the US, but we aren’t going to screw it up either”

  8. Ashveratu says:

    “an open market where we see opportunities” They must have mistaken some other country as the U.S.
    Seriously, this market is far from “open”, especially when it comes to automobiles.