New Electric Car Factory Challenges Tesla's Dominance At Los Angeles Auto Show
The Fisker Ocean wins a crossover car in a customer survey. (photo; twitter)

JAKARTA – Car manufacturers who are pursuing the dominance of electric vehicles from Tesla Inc. At the Los Angeles Auto Show they revealed a new, more affordable and larger electric sports vehicle, now constantly racing to cater to one of the fastest growing segments of the US market.

Kia Motors dubbed Tesla by name at the event, and announced that the upcoming EV6 electric crossover could beat Tesla's record for the shortest charge time, while driving across the United States, by more than five hours.

Kia and its affiliate Hyundai Motor also unveiled the large three-row electric sports vehicle concept, the EV9 and SEVEN. These models are expected to go into production sometime in 2024, said two people familiar with the matter.

"They (Tesla) have strong sales and they have very good public awareness. But not everything is for everyone. So there must always be alternatives," said Michael McHale, Kia's director of brand experience.

The focus on electric SUVs reflects the strong preference among US consumers for SUVs, which typically sell for higher prices than similar-sized sedans. Large SUVs are the best-selling segment of the US market, industry executives and analysts say.

"EVs are moving from an economical box to an aspirational vehicle to the heart of the market," Brett Smith, director of technology at the Center for Automotive Research.

Tesla's challengers are also betting on new features like the rotating dashboard screen in the Fisker Ocean SUV to differentiate themselves from the rest.

Henrik Fisker, chief executive of Fisker Inc., said the Ocean will be the first production car with a screen that switches between vertical and horizontal orientations.

"We filed a patent for it," he told Reuters. They also added a special screen that will be supplied by Foxconn Technology Co Ltd, which will also manufacture the Fisker electric SUV in the United States.

The car manufacturer that is pursuing the dominance of electric vehicles from Tesla Inc. At the Los Angeles Auto Show they revealed a new, more affordable and larger electric sports vehicle, now constantly racing to cater to one of the fastest growing segments of the US market.

"I think it will attract a lot of young people who want to play on screens. Also when you're sitting charging," Fisker said.

Fisker and Vinfast are also using the show to hit the radar with new models and bold claims they say will have more affordable and long-range vehicles than rival Tesla's offerings.

Tesla has become the world's most valuable automaker, with a market cap of more than $1 trillion, as it has redefined the electric vehicle market with sleek, high-tech cars and SUVs like the Model Y that offer longer driving distances between charges than rivals. model.

Tesla has leveraged the perceived technological advantage and strong demand to drive up the prices of its vehicles, especially as the prices of raw materials and semiconductors have risen this year.

Vinfast's global chief executive, Michael Lohscheller, said the vehicles would be "reasonably priced," which is key to getting people to switch from petrol cars to electric cars.

Fisker said outsourcing model production to Magna International has allowed the company to shorten development time and thus use the supplier's latest long-range battery technology, CATL.

"The technology is very new. Most other automakers, they choose their technology three years before the vehicle comes out," he said.

“But it will be a challenge for automakers and startups to take on Tesla, which is "identical to electric vehicles," said Smith.

GM, and Nissan have also launched electric cars, but neither of them have made a dent in Tesla's dominance, said Smith of Automotive Research. Upgrading the EV is another challenge, he added.

"Electric vehicles open up opportunities for many companies, no matter where they come from," he said.


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