Silicon Valley's SF Motors introduces electric SUVs, on sale in 2019
SF Motors is promising rechargeable SUVs with up to 300 miles of range per charge from electric powertrains that deliver as much as 1,000 horsepower. Exterior styling for the SF5 and SF7 SUVs was done in California with premium “coastal” looks reminiscent of the Golden State, while interiors were done with partners in Germany.
Pre-orders for the SF5 start later this year, after the start of trial production, with initial deliveries to begin in 2019. Pricing was not disclosed at the debut of the two models at SF Motors’ Santa Clara, California, headquarters.
SF Motors arrives with some specific advantages. In addition to its backing from parent company Sokon, SF Motors also has R&D and design operations in the U.S., China, Germany and Japan. Importantly, it already has production facilities that come on line later this year. In 2017 SF Motors bought the AM General factory in Mishawaka, Indiana, that previously built boxy Hummer SUVs and Mercedes R-Class light trucks. Retooling will be completed by the third quarter with trial production to start soon after, Zhang said. The factory will be able to produce 50,000 vehicles annually.
SF Motors will also have access to a factory in Chongqing, China, that can build 150,000 vehicles for the brand annually, giving it an impressive 200,000-unit production capacity as it ramps up in 2019, to deliver products with “high-quality at scale,” Zhang said. Both factories will be able to make battery packs, motors and other components, as well as multiple SF Motors models.
Not only is it bringing out SUVs that will compete with Tesla’s Model X crossover and its planned Model Y due in about 2020, the electric powertrain was developed with assistance from Martin Eberhard, Tesla’s first CEO and a co-founder who had a high-profile falling out with Musk in 2007. SF Motors bought Eberhard’s battery company Inevit Inc. last year and he serves as its chief innovation officer.