Thursday, September 24, 2015

NextEV (Chinese Tesla Competitor) Building R&D in San Jose

There is a little known fact that before purchasing the NUMMI plant, Tesla was trying to build their factory in North San Jose. Since they would not qualify for federal incentives at that location, the deal fell through. However, Tesla still does have some history with San Jose as they chose to open the first Tesla Store in San Jose--which is still considered to be the United States flagship store. I should also note that they are rumored to be seeking office space in San Jose.

Well, it turns out Tesla won't be the only electric vehicle (EV) company in town for very long. A Chinese company called NextEV has selected North San Jose as their location for a significant R&D center. The company already has a supercar that competes in the Formula E racing series. Now their goal is to manufacture a mass-market electric car in 2017 for the Chinese market as well as a US-bound electric car in 2019. The company seems pretty serious unlike previous EV companies like Coda. They have hired a former CEO of Maserati and poached employees from both Tesla and BMW.

NextEV has leased a 85,000 SQFT building at 3200 North First Street. The R&D center will focus on "connected car" functionality. Manufacturing will be done in China while car design will be handled in Germany.

Now all we need is an Apple facility for their future self-driving cars as well as a relocation of the Tesla Headquarters to San Jose--then we'll have hands-down the EV capital of the world.

Source: SVBJ

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