NEW YORK, April 19 (Xinhua) -- Chinese electric vehicle (EV) Qiantu K50 made its debut at 2019 New York International Auto Show, marking latest progress in bringing the sports car into U.S. market.
Mullen Technologies, a California-based EV developer, automobile dealer and online marketing platform operator, would be responsible for homologating, assembling and sales of Qiantu K50 in North America, said a recent release by Mullen Technologies.
As the partner of Qiantu Motor in North America, Mullen Technologies would assemble Qiantu K50 in its own plant and location of such production facility could be released in about two to three weeks, said William Johnston, chief information officer with Mullen Technologies on Thursday.
"We will start sales in probably the second half of 2020 and there's a tremendous need for a car in this segment," said Johnston in an interview with Xinhua. He added that the two companies signed a cooperation agreement in December 2018 in this regard.
Qiantu K50 was launched in Chinese market in August 2018 with a price tag of around 102,000 U.S. dollars and about 1,000 Qiantu K50 cars have been sold in China, according to Weiping Zou, vice president of battery management system operations with Mullen Technologies.
As the flagship model of Qiantu Motor, Qiantu K50 combines a 296kW/402 HP engine mounted on an all-aluminum frame with an eye-catching aerodynamic carbon fiber design.
The research and development capacity of Qiantu Motor and the positioning of K50 as a high-end EV sports car prompt Mullen Technologies to cooperate with Qiantu Motor, said Zou.
Qiantu Motor now holds the entire intellectual property rights of K50 and its parent company CH-Auto Technology Co., Ltd. ranks as one of Chinese top three designing firms in China, according to Zou.
Mullen Technologies also wants to do weight saving, optimization of regeneration and powertrain in the process of homologation, said Johnston.
"We want to have every opportunity to try to get to 200 mile range and the battery would be sourced from Qiantu," Johnston said.
Assembling and sourcing in the United States would help reduce production costs as imports of whole car from China are subject to higher tariffs than imports of components, according to Zou.
Moreover, the supply of components like electronics stability program (ESP) is globalized and some parts would be procured locally, Zou told Xinhua.
Still, detailed studies have not been done on the overall production costs of K50 in the United States, according to Zou.
Zou estimated that the sales price of Qiantu K50 would range from 100,000 U.S. dollars to 150,000 U.S. dollars in the U.S. market.
Around 50 Qiantu K50 cars have been subscribed so far in the United States, said Zou.
Johnston added, "This is our initial offering. We will have our own Mullen-branded vehicles in the future. This is a tremendous partnership and we look forward to working with Qiantu in the future as well."
The EV developed by Mullen Technology itself would target the mass market, said Zou.
"The strength of Mullen Technologies is we really synergize all of our businesses to help propel each other forward. We're not just reliant on having one product that goes out on the market and then if it isn't received very well we have other plans and other revenues streams," said Johnston.
Zou added Mullen Technologies has filed for initial public offering with Nasdaq Stock Exchange and plans to be floated by the end of 2019.
Statistics show that 114,000 units of renewable energy cars were sold in China in the first two months of 2019 with EVs accounting for over 70 percent of the total.