More details have surfaced about ex-Ford executive Martin Leach and the electric-vehicle start-up he's helping to lead. The company is called NextEV, and it's based in Shanghai, Reuters says. Among the fledgling company's investors is Hillhouse Capital, which also has a stake in San Francisco-based car-hailing service Uber Technologies. NextEV is also partnered up with first season Formula E champs China Racing, and that the team will be running a NextEV drivetrain this upcoming season.

Late last month, Leach confirmed to Reuters that he was working with an electric-vehicle startup which had employees in both California and China, but he didn't get into the nitty gritty. Now, the company is said to include former BMW senior designer Juho Suh and former Tesla Motors senior program director John Thomas. And although no details have been disclosed about funding levels, there are hints that it may be substantial given possible Chinese backing and an effort to develop a high-end electric vehicle for in China for the domestic market.

The group is working on an electric vehicle that it says may debut as early as next year. The supercar will have more than 1,000 horsepower, and will be able to go from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour) in less than three seconds, suggesting that the company – like so many others – is looking to out-Tesla Tesla.

Leach left his post as chief operating officer of Ford of Europe in 2003, even after being named man of the year by Automobile magazine. He subsequently ran Maserati, then worked last year for Hong Kong-based Hybrid Tech Holdings. That company unsuccessfully put in a bid for the assets of then-bankrupt high-end plug-in vehicle maker Fisker Automotive.


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