It seems that China has been a difficult market for Tesla to crack, with the company having to adjust its offering to get the approval of the Chinese authorities. As you will no doubt have seen, the company has major plans for the Chinese electric vehicle market with the creation of one of the biggest manufacturing plants in the world. This comes at a time when the Chinese authorities are very keen to push the benefits of electric vehicles.
However, has Tesla just been hit by a copycat Chinese company?
The Youxia X
At first glance, there is no doubt that the Youxia X is based upon the Tesla Model S because even the outer skin is quite clearly based upon the award-winning tesla vehicle. The Youxia X itself has a "Knight Rider" style LCD front grille which is something rather quirky that will appeal to the rich and famous. It also has a 362bhp electric motor and can do 0-62 mph in around 5.6 seconds - with a selection of different battery capacities giving a range of between 137 miles and 286 miles.
Perhaps one of the more quirky elements of the Youxia X is the fact that the internal operating system has actually been named "KITT" after the vehicle in Knight Rider. The ability to put together a copycat vehicle based upon the Tesla Model S will not only give this new Chinese company much exposure but it will also help to promote the electric vehicle market.
Quote from ElectricForum.com: "If you thought electric cars were all environmental piety and no fun, the new Tesla Model S is here to prove you wrong"
Check out the cost!
While Tesla continues its battle to bring down the cost of a standard electric vehicle to something more affordable to the general public, could the Youxia X have beaten Elon Musk to his goal? While the vehicle itself will not be available until at least 2016 the starting price will be around $47,000 (the equivalent of £30,000) although this is before the Chinese government’s current $14,000 subsidy!
If the company is able to deliver what is to all intents and purposes a Tesla Model S at anywhere near £30,000 then this would be a major coup.
Is the Chinese EV market turning?
As we have mentioned on numerous occasions, the Chinese authorities have been forced to rein in their initial forecasts for heavy electric vehicle use across the country. However, while it took Tesla sometime to negotiate a favourable settlement with the Chinese authorities it seems that new start-up companies are emerging in the Chinese electric vehicle sector.
Those who follow Elon Musk will be well aware that he is not against sharing this technology for the good of the electric vehicle market. When you bear in mind the hotbed of technological brains across China it does look as though he has managed to meet his perfect match?
They say that copying is the ultimate flattery for any product or service and if history is anything to go by then Elon Musk will have no issues with this. If he is able to crack the Chinese EV market in the short to medium term this will catapult Tesla towards total domination of the electric vehicle market. Indeed, with the Chinese authorities seemingly behind the company is there anybody out there who can stop its momentous march forward?