The news that LeTV, a Chinese internet company best known for its streaming video platform, is working on building an electric car, came somewhat out of the blue earlier this week. But while we may not have known about it, the company has obviously been preparing this move for some time. According to Techweb, LeTV has already formed a team based in Silicon Valley to design the car. This team includes talent from Tesla, Mercedes, BMW, VW, and Ford (among other car companies), and it has apparently already produced some unique IP that will go into the LeTV car.
Additionally, LeTV has reportedly invested in American electric car startup Atieva, although it’s not clear what the total sum of that investment was. It’s also not clear how much money LeTV has thus far poured into its Silicon Valley car team.
According to LeTV CEO Jia Yueting’s assistant – who is the source of all this information – the company has been focused on this project for some time. About 60 percent of Jia’s time during his frequent trips overseas has been spent working on the car project, pulling together a team that includes traditional car designers as well as people from the fields of electric cars, internet services, and smart hardware.
There’s still no timetable for the actual release of this vehicle, though, and you shouldn’t expect it anytime soon. LeTV aspires to beat the world’s leading car manufacturers at their own game, and even with a top team that’s going to take some time.