The auto industry is undergoing a transformation not seen in years as attention shifts to smart, electric cars that are autonomous. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has until now spearheaded efforts on electric cars but given the investment and interest that continue to rock the space; its dominance is no longer guaranteed. Jia Yueting is one-billionaire entrepreneur looking to usurp the electric pioneer in ways not heard or seen before.
Yueting through his electric company Le Holdings Co or LeCo is planning to build a smart car that is no different to a cellphone or a tablet. The company has already unveiled its concept electric supercar LeSEE, seen as a direct rival to Tesla’s Model S.
“We hope to surpass Tesla and lead the industry leapfrogging to a new age,” said Mr. Yueting
The car is to be displayed at this week’s Beijing auto show. Production should start in a few years’ time, at a plant in Las Vegas as part of a joint venture with Faraday Future. The small IT Company is also planning to shift some of the production works into China.
Yueting expects pricing pressures to be the norm in the industry as more companies start producing electric cars. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) continues to dictate the pace when it comes pricing having pioneered the industry long before others. The billionaire entrepreneur, however, believes that could change as a pricing model similar to that on phones and TV sweeps over the industry.
LeCo is not the only EV startup that Teals must worry about as the race for market share heats up. The Likes of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA), Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU) Tencent and Xiaomi have also shown interest in EV cars. The tech giants have all invested in more than a dozen EV startups as the government advocates for a switch to electric vehicles, seen as an alternative to gasoline cars.
Even though the entry barrier on electric cars is low, LeCo has had to grapple with some challenges. Yueting has had to sell part of his stakes in the company to raise funds to kick-start his electric car dream. The emerging EV Company has also had to ink partnerships with the likes of Atieva, Faraday Future and Aston Martin as it bids to rival Tesla Motors Inc(NASDAQ:TSLA) at all cost.