EV talent commands respect, big salaries

Updated: 2016-08-18 07:58

(China Daily)

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EV talent commands respect, big salaries

Elon Musk, Tesla CEO. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Tesla Challengers

Internet entrepreneur William Li's NextEV Inc hired Padmasree Warrior, Cisco Systems Inc's former technology chief, to lead its US operations.

Jia's Faraday Future Inc, an electric-car startup planning a $1-billion factory in Nevada to challenge Elon Musk and his Tesla Motors Inc, recruited Porter Harris from Musk's Space Exploration Technologies Corp. Harris left Faraday earlier this year.

The presence of those high profiles usually attracts workers who can actually build cars. Only about a quarter of the 4,000-plus NEVs approved by the government are in production, according to a National Development and Reform Commission survey.

Ma's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is partnering with SAIC Motor Corp on an internet-connected SUV called the Roewe RX5.

Yet public subsidies that can total 60 percent of an EV's sticker price are helping fuel a manufacturing boom. For the first half of this year, China produced 177,000 NEVs, more than double the same period a year ago, the manufacturers' association said.

"Talent is one of many things these EV startups need to get right," Robin Zhu, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Sanford C Bernstein, said in an email.

"It may even be the most important, given how early stage many are at this point, and particularly given the realities of fundraising (investors back the best people)."