“Tesla is not cool enough anymore,” wrote Jasmine Sungu with the launch of Olympian Motors.
Sungu started the new electric vehicle company with co-founder Eren Canarslan upon realizing there is a demand for alternative EV designs and experiences. Sungu had previously worked at IBM and EY as a managing consultant in the automotive and mobility industry. Canarslan's career started at Ford as an R&D engineer and, prior to Olympian, the founder had been working on automotive, mobility, and augmented reality at Qualcomm Strategy & Ventures.
The founding team set out to create an experience-first consumer segment in the auto industry, prioritizing aesthetics over horsepower, user experience over torque, and simplicity. In practice, that looks like a "radically minimalistic" cockpit experience, swapping out tons of button and switches for an augmented reality HUD (heads up display) with voice-assistant and head/eye-tracking applications.
Olympian says it has the first fully fabless production model in the US, meaning the company designs its cars and microchips, but contracts out production rather than owning a factory. According to Canarslan, the model keeps Olympian asset-light, enabling it to have a product-development cycle that’s 300% faster than the U.S. average. The team is currently building prototypes for its Olympian O1 (Sedan) and a Model K1 (SUV) with the first shipment scheduled for November 2022.
Whether you agree with Sungu or not about Tesla’s coolness, it will be nice to have new options, faster. Elon Musk also said that Tesla won’t be rolling out any new models in 2022 because of the global chip shortage. Its most recent consumer EV launch was the Cybertruck in 2019, and production won’t start on those until 2023.
Still, think Tesla is pretty damn cool? Check out this new Cyberbackpack while you wait. Otherwise...
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