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Startup SF Motors announces two EVs; up to 1000 hp, 0-60 mph in less than 3 seconds

SF Motors, a Silicon Valley electric vehicle (EV) startup and subsidiary of Shanghai-based Sokon Industry Group (earlier post), announced its latest technological advances and a new line of intelligent electric vehicles at an event at its Santa Clara headquarters. The new EVs are the SF5 and the SF7; the SF5 will be available for pre-order by the end of 2018 and will hit the road in 2019.

Sf5

SF5

SF Motors has created a proprietary powertrain that includes custom motors, gearboxes, battery cells and packs, as well as electronic controllers—giving the company control and flexibility in the design of their vehicles. The company has also focused on intelligent technologies to deliver new levels of autonomy and connectivity.

SF Motors has developed a flexible motor system allowing vehicle design using one-, two-, three-, or four-motor configurations. At the top end, the powerful four-motor system will deliver more 1000 hp, meaning vehicles can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in under 3 seconds. The company’s motors, motor controllers, and gearboxes are key to this, with peak power ranging from 100KW to 400KW.

Sf5-2

In order to provide greater driving convenience and ease range anxiety, SF Motors has also developed a range-extension platform with a highly efficient, high-power onboard generator.

SF Motors has developed its own proprietary battery cells, with a leading energy density and a a long cycle life. SF Motors has also developed a patented battery pack system, enabling range of more than 300 miles (EPA) or 500 km (NEDC). The patented battery pack system design puts safety and reliability first, leveraging an advanced Battery Management System (BMS), liquid-cool thermal management system, and unique mechanical structures.

Sfmotors_sf7_side_profile_lab

SF7

(SF Motors acquired InEVit Inc., an electric vehicle (EV) battery modularization startup headed by former Tesla CEO Martin Eberhard in October 2017.)

The company is also experimenting with next-generation battery modules that will integrate directly into the vehicle chassis. This design will also support rapid manufacturing using laser welding to connect the battery cells.

In keeping with its focus on sustainability, the company is advancing a battery recycling strategy, developing energy storage products to find second applications in homes and offices, and enabling the batteries which power its vehicles to live a second life.

To ensure full control over performance optimization, the company has developed all its electronic controllers in-house. The company says that these controllers use unique algorithms to enable instantaneous all-wheel-drive torque vectoring. The company’s secure gateway unit provides a constant protection barrier for the vehicle’s data and over-the-air software updates.

In the field of intelligent technology, SF Motors has introduced the concept of “protective autonomy,” creating systems that handle typical driving tasks with limited input from humans. These systems use deep neural network-based computer vision, combined with the accuracy of LiDAR sensor perception, to power a driver and vehicle monitoring system that creates a safer ride for all. The company is already road-testing its technology in California, Michigan, and China with the goal of bringing “protective autonomy” to the market in 2020.

SF Motors will begin vehicle production this year at its Industry 4.0 facilities in the US and China, targeting a total capacity of 200,000 units per year. SF Motors has partnered with top equipment makers and suppliers such as Dürr, Siemens, AFT, Bosch, Infineon technologies, Samsung SDI, and LGC to outfit the facilities and support production.

The company is investing heavily in automation, with body shops and process quality control centers that are 100% automated. On the other hand, its investment in big data and IT technologies connects the company’s U.S. and China facilities, enabling them to share data and learnings in real-time to improve production and maintain quality standards.

SF Motors acquired its Indiana factory in 2016; this former AM General plant has a legacy of producing high-end vehicles such as the Hummer H2 and Mercedes R Class, and has been retooled for premium EV production.

SF Motors has committed to make its powertrain available to other automotive manufacturers, to share its local market understanding and global manufacturing network with new entrants, and incubate new technologies with strategic partners to ready them for industrial scale.

Comments

Engineer-Poet

So China is muscling into the USA.  Meanwhile, rumor has it that the downgrade of Tesla's debt has locked it out of the bond market and it is going to run out of money very shortly.

Gonna be an interesting year for EVs.

HarveyD

An interesting year for EVs with another 20+ manufacturers moving in?
Not sure that TESLA will still be around by 2025 or so?
A JV with an Asian firm with lots of $$$ and access to lower cost labour may be required.

The low performance of batteries is still the major chalenge, for the next 10+ years?
Lower cost ultra quick charge 5X batteries are required for BEVs to take a larger share of the market?

mahonj

You won't be going very far at 400 Kw.
They don't say what the battery capacity is, but let's guess 100 KwH.
This will give you about 3.3 hours driving at 30KW, which will get you moving at about 75 mph, so this comes out at 245 miles (ish).
In which case, you will certainly need the range extender, which, again, they do not specify.
You could probably get great range at 50 mph, but that is hardly a speed for a car like this.
At least with a Porsche or BMW 520d, you can drive a decent distance at 100 mph, and a considerable distance at 75.
(Whether you should, is a different question altogether).

CheeseEater88

It is much easier/cheaper to make a fast/exotic/hyper electric car than an ICE that does the same thing.

I think this like Tesla will have success in this type of market.

I don't know what will happen to Tesla ultimately...but i would wager it would be a great niche car company if it stuck to model S type vehicles. I do think the model 3 could be the ruin of Tesla if it doesn't live up to the hype or ship as fast as they need too. The company is massively, in my opinion, overvalued. Clearly others place value in it. It being the largest US make.

Though scarcity breeds value and appreciation... And people don't want to be disappointed in themselves for thier efforts to acquire a Tesla. I think other makes will fill the void the model3 is trying to fill. The Chevy bolt, is offering some serious competition. Ford and others are promising electrified and electric suvs/trucks. Mild hybrids are also popping up.

In the larger suv/truck segment, hybrids will rule. Utility for working vehicles is key. Would you buy a typical1500 truck with a 5 gallon gas tank? I think not today.

What i guess I'm summing up is the mainstream oems will make a hard push for electrics before 2025. Tesla and other newcomers will have to result to value added things like speed and luxury to remain viable. Even then, as electrics become mainstream, others will likely push into the niche side of the market. I mean who wouldn't want an electric Viper, GT, Camero, Mustang, Corvette? Taking not only the mainstream, but the niche market back as well. Even the hyper cars are edging back in, albeit with a money is no concern kind of way, but the amount of new tech that is showing up on these hybrids is impressive.

We should see some major shakeups in the large truck industry. Hybrids and full electrics do offer a great cost advantage to diesel from a maintenance standpoint. Uptime and cost to fuel could be hit or miss based on rates and availability, both of which are the life blood. My bet is on Nikola's truck, i do think they have a pretty strong plan for over the road.


Autonomous vehicles will shake things up. We could see lots of crazy unimaginable vehicles sold to fleets because of what the technology will enable. Anyone that drives to make a living should be scared. The amount of money and time a company can save without over the road drivers, or drivers in general make autonomous vehicles one of the most potentially destructive forces in the industry to date. It may/should even lead to declining ownership, and more mobility/access.

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