Nio's autonomous Eve electric SUV concept has Faraday Future fuming

Chinese startup NextEV launched its Nio brand last year with the 1,342-horsepower EP9 electric supercar, but now the company is focusing on a more mainstream model.

Unveiled at SXSW, the Nio Eve concept is an SUV-like self-driving car that previews the fledgling automaker’s first mass-market model. Nio plans to launch self-driving cars in the U.S. in 2020, said Padmasree Warrior, the company’s United States CEO, at the unveiling. If you think the idea of an autonomous electric SUV sounds familiar, you’re not the only the one.

Faraday Future, the U.S.-based startup backed by Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting and his LeEco tech empire, is in the midst of launching its own electric SUV, the FF91. Nick Sampson, the automaker’s R&D boss, took to Twitter suggesting the Eve concept was a knockoff of Faraday’s car.

“Imitation is the highest form of flattery, but poor clones get it wrong because we are promoting individuality,” Sampson wrote.

When pressed by another Twitter user, Sampson said the design language of the two vehicles as very similar, and that they have similar wheel designs. Sampson blamed “leaks” for what he views as illicit copying of Faraday’s design, saying the FF91’s shape was locked in “well over a year ago.”

The Eve does appear to have a similar overall shape to the FF91, but the Faraday electric car doesn’t have the Nio’s massive sliding doors. What is clear is that both Faraday and Nio were aiming for the same type of vehicle: A luxury SUV with an electric powertrain, and an emphasis on autonomous driving. Nio’s planned production model could very well compete with the FF91.

That is, assuming Nio follows through with its production plans. Because while the FF91 is a production-ready model, the Eve is just a concept car. In was mum on specifications, only saying the car is fully autonomous, and that it features a futuristic digital assistant called Nomi, accessed through voice commands or an augmented reality display on the windshield. Buyers will probably need more to go on before they start plunking down cash for this latest startup-concocted electric car.


Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe wants his startup to be the Patagonia of electric cars

Rivian is the latest startup hyping new electric cars. But unlike most other startups, Rivian is focusing on off-road vehicles. It launched an electric pickup truck and SUV at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. CEO R.J. Scaringe explains the…
Product Review

The 2019 Porsche Macan S is a luxurious and quick SUV, but it's no road tripper

The roster of models challenging the Porsche Macan grows annually. The German firm updated its smallest, most affordable SUV with a new engine, more tech features, and subtle design tweaks to keep it looking fresh.

Volkswagen may be planning a tougher challenge for its all-electric I.D. R

The Volkswagen I.D. R electric race car may head to the Nürburgring in 2019 for a lap-record attempt, according to a new report. Volkswagen will reportedly aim to set the quickest lap time ever by an electric car.

Waymo becomes the first company to charge for rides in self-driving cars

Waymo has launched a commercial ridesharing service using self-driving cars in the Phoenix area. It's the first U.S. company to generate revenue by putting passengers in autonomous cars. Waymo One is only available to a select group of…

World’s fastest electric race car to display at Petersen Museum

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak race car smashed the all-time record at the hill climb for which it was named. The all-electric VW record-holder will be on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles until February 1, 2019.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

This freewheeling Army truck-turned-tiny home is a labor of love

Most tiny homes are models of efficiency but one British metal worker has redefined the idea, converting an old Army truck into a mobile tiny home that comes with a bed, a sofa, a shower, and a beer garden.

Take a friend stargazing at 202 mph in the 2019 McLaren 720S Spider

McLaren has introduced the 2019 720S Spider. As its name implies, it's a convertible variant of the 720S coupe. The company promises the Spider retains the coupe's dynamism and agility thanks in part to the widespread use of carbon fiber.

Gateway’s born-again Ford Bronco boasts classic style, 2018 muscle car power

Illinois-based Gateway Bronco has received a license from Ford to make brand-new examples of the first-generation Bronco. Every build starts with a Ford VIN and a donor vehicle, but Gateway upgrades every part of the car.

Bloodhound’s plan to build a 1,000-mph car has run out of gas

The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) project has officially shut down. The upside is you can now buy a 135,000-horsepower car powered by a jet engine and a cluster of rockets for $319,000.

2019 Ford Ranger saves fuel without sacrificing towing capacity

The 2019 Ford Ranger marks Ford's long-awaited return to the midsize truck segment, which has seen a resurgence lately. But will being late to the party make Ford's job more difficult?

Pininfarina Battista is a 1,900-horsepower, 250-mph electric supercar

The Pininfarina Battista will be the first production car from famed Italian design firm Pininfarina. Named after company founder Battista Pininfarina, it has a claimed 1,900 horsepower and a $2.5 million price tag.

Tesla could show the electric pickup Elon Musk is dying to build in 2019

Tesla has started designing its long-promised pickup truck. The yet-unnamed model will come with dual-motor all-wheel drive and lots of torque, plus it will be able to park itself.
Cars is helping Hyundai mine the artificial intelligence gold rush

In November 2018, Hyundai invested in a startup named We talked to the company's founder to learn more about what that means for consumers in the not-too-distant futures.