Chinese electric car startup NextEV gives due credit to Tesla for innovative contributions to electric supercar technology.
The former race car driver told International Business Times in an exclusive interview that he congratulates Elon Musk and Tesla Motors for a “brilliant job.”
“I do think, though, that if normal car companies were the internet at 1.0, then Tesla is probably 2.0 and does some really good things like over-the-air software updates. But what we’re trying to be is 3.0,” Leach added, suggesting that his company will be instrumental in a huge shift in the future of car technology.
With plans of unveiling an electric supercar in the last quarter of 2016, he boasts that his company is set to deliver a game-changer in the auto industry.
“When we launch the car it will not be a concept. It’s a car, it will be engineered and validated and you will see it driving at some point shortly after the introduction. Certain lucky people will be able to drive it,” he said, adding that the company’s new release will be a “car which will be able to hold its own against the best of today’s competition. We want it to show what we can do. For sure, it will have a few surprises. It will not just be another cookie-cutter supercar.”
Leach went on to state that NextEV also plans to “do things that help people’s automotive lifestyles.” Indicating a move to an entirely new direction, he said, “We do want people to own their cars, but we want to make it fun again. We want to take out the pain points that people complain to us about, about the ownership experience today. Not just electric vehicles, but generally.”
Leach considers autonomous driving technology as part of people’s future lifestyle. “It can solve a lot of problems that we have today with society… [but] we want to support our people with a drivable lifestyle. A lot of people still want to drive their cars. It’s not all of one thing at the expense of the other; people still want to drive cars and have fun with that,” he said.
In comparison with other competitors, Leach was quick to point out what sets NextEV apart: “Our strategy is quite different to Faraday Future because as you get to understand NextEV better you will begin to realize we are very much a value driven organization. We’re not really a car company.”
Whether Leech and his team will be able to deliver with his promise is yet to be seen but it is always good to know there are more players who are wanting to shake up the automotive industry. Hopefully, as Elon Musk and Tesla have have done, Leach and NextEV can deliver more than it can promise.