It was two years ago that we first learned of a Chinese design company by the name of CH-Auto looking to branch out into production of high-end electric cars, starting with a small electric sports car to potentially be built in the United States.
CH-Auto has been quiet since then but last week it announced the signing of a partnership agreement with California's Mullen Technologies to develop and assemble electric cars in the United States for sale across North America under the brand name Qiantu.
The first model will be the Qiantu K50 electric sports car first shown at the 2016 Beijing auto show. It will feature an aluminum chassis wrapped in a carbon fiber body and generate a combined 402 horsepower from a pair of electric motors. Performance estimates include a 0-60 mph time of around 4.5 seconds and a top speed governed to 124 mph.
The plan is to start production in 2020, utilizing components sourced locally and from China. Mullen will start accepting orders in 2019. At the time of the Qiantu K50's reveal, CH-Auto hinted at a starting price of a little over $100,000.
Both CH-Auto and Mullen Technologies have experience manufacturing electric cars, though so far the companies have produced only low-cost models. Mullen Technologies is also the company behind the Mullen Auto Sales network of dealerships, and it's currently in negotiations with other automakers outside the country to potentially bring more vehicles to the U.S. market.