Electric supercar maker Renovo Motors aims for niche as Tesla goes broad



Co-founders Christopher Heiser and Jason Stinson began think the car industry will be the next big market Silicon Valley disrupts. They want to be a part of that.

Co-founders Christopher Heiser and Jason Stinson began think the car industry will be the next big market Silicon Valley disrupts. They want to be a part of that.







Eric Van Susteren
Digital Producer- Silicon Valley Business Journal

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The startup born in a garage may the oldest of Silicon Valley tropes, but it’s actually appropriate for Renovo Motors, which makes ultra-high-performance electric vehicles.

Co-founders Chris Heiser and Jason Stinson founded the company in Stinson’s Palo Alto garage on the idea that the car industry will be the next big area Silicon Valley disrupts. They’re betting that by focusing on raw performance rather than whittling down costs, they can come up with the most innovative electric vehicle technologies.

The Campbell-based company is selling a limited quantity of its cars for around $500,000, so maybe it goes without saying that it isn’t trying to compete with mass-market business models like Tesla’s.

That type of manufacturing is a long game, supported by billions in capital, to control costs at very high production volumes. It’s safe to say Renovo is going after a more niche market.

“Some of our first customers will be motor-sports teams and people who will value performance well above any other type of metric,” Heiser said. “The markets we’re going into are generally high-margin ones where performance, modularity and fast time to market are the most valuable aspects.”

Stinson and Heiser think their car, the Renovo Coupe, is the fastest rear-wheel drive EV ever built. It can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.4 seconds with 500 horsepower and 1,000 foot-pounds of torque. A baseline Tesla Model S, meanwhile, reaches 60 in 4.2 seconds.

Renovo’s battery, which has a range of around 100 miles, is a feature they think stands apart.

They said it runs on higher voltages than anything else on the road and it has the highest power density of any on-road vehicle’s battery pack.

Eric Van Susteren is the Digital Producer at the Silicon Valley Business Journal.