Starters, old carmakers are trying to get Tesla



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PLYMOUTH TOWNSHIP, Mich. – In the renovated cashier of the Detroit suburbs, 300 engineers are trying to get rid of all electric pick-up trucks and SUVs that they hope will be able to take Tesla.

All of them work for Riviana, who on Monday reveals two vehicles before the Los Angeles Auto Show. It is a growing number of beginners and established car manufacturers who want to reach the entire electric car market.

Only the flow of cars with batteries will almost certainly bring buyers from the current leader, Tesla, who is likely to supply more than 300,000 vehicles worldwide this year.

Incorporated automakers such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Jaguar-Land Rover, Volkswagen, Hyundai, General Motors, Ford and even Dyson vacuum cleaners have pledged to develop new electrical equipment in the coming years. The top car manufacturers compete directly with Tesla's higher price vehicles, models X and S.

Also electric car brands in China. The sale of the two largest brands – BYD Auto, the BYD Corp. unit in Shenzhen, near Hong Kong and the state-owned BAIC group in Beijing, markets the foreign market.

BYD sells battery-powered buses in the United States, Japan and Europe. BAIC announced April plans to produce electricity in South Africa. Its EC Series, which starts at 150,000 yuan ($ 22,000), is China's most sold electric car.

Volvo Cars, owned by Swedish Geely Holding, says it intends to manufacture an electric car in China from the beginning of next year for sale worldwide.

Gartner's senior analyst Michael Ramsey says Tesla "will undoubtedly lose its market share as more and more competitors come."

What is not known is whether demand for electric cars has risen enough to have room for everyone. Currently, the market is small. In the US, electric cars were only 0.8 percent of the registration of new vehicles in August this year, according to IHS Markit. But it's considerably more than 0.5 percent at the same time in 2017. In October, car dealers in the United States sold nearly 155,000 fully electric cars, about 1 percent of total sales, Edmunds.com says.

Globally Navigant Research predicts huge growth over the next seven years, with just over a million sales this year to 6.5 million by 2025.

As a result of the rise in competition, prices will gradually decline when approaching internal combustion engines. At the same time, the electric area is on the rise.

For example, Rivia promises that its R1T pickup top version will have more than 400 miles (644 km) when it comes to sale in late 2020. Five-point pick-up is targeted at the market. Tesla is not yet an off-road vehicle with an appearance.

Rivia, headquartered in Plymouth Township, Michigan, reports that R1T can go fast on the sidewalk, and one electric motor runs from zero to 60 km / h (97 km / h) in three seconds. It also has a retractable cushion cover and a storage space that runs through the truck's width behind the rear seats that can carry plates, snowboards or skis. It has a unique white horizontal beam on the front with oval headlamps.

President and CEO R.J. Scaringe, a 35-year-old mechanical engineer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said the exact pricing would be announced later, but a basic machine with a smaller 230-mile battery would start under $ 70,000. A truck with longer battery life is about $ 90,000, he said.

With a small start, there is still a long way to sell vehicles, even though it says it has $ 500 million in funding. It has to develop a sales and service network, announce the battery cell supplier and start producing vehicles at the former Mitsubishi Motors plant, which it owns in Normalo, Illinois.

IHS analyst Stephanie Brinley says Tesla may lose sales for a while when competitors are squeezing a slowly growing market. But ultimately he thinks the sales of electric cars will rise and Tesla's sales will rise.

At least in public, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said many times that competition is good, which promotes the company's goal of sustainable transport.

"It is impossible for Tesla to build electric cars fast enough to handle the coal crisis," Musk wrote in the 2014 blog. "Real competition is not a small flow of unproductive non-Tesla electric vehicles, but rather the flood of enormous gasoline engines in the world every day."

Joe McDonald in Beijing attended this report.

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