This could be big. It looks like Coda Automotive's follow up to its Sedan might have an especially desirable quality: a low price tag. The California company's cooperative effort with Great Wall Motors has moved on from its LoI (Letter of Intent) status to the official we-are-really-going-forward-with-this stage. As well, the concept behind the vehicle itself has been fleshed out a bit and contracts have been signed, using the Beijing International Motor Show as backdrop.

Apparently, the plan is to combine the strengths of the two companies and develop a vehicle for North American, Chinese, and European markets that would be priced lower than any other EV on the market. Low enough, they say, to compete with entry level gas-powered cars (after government incentives). Take that, Mitsubishi i MiEV and Nissan Leaf!

While Coda comes to the table with an electric drivetrain development experience and an entrance to the U.S. market, Great Wall brings chassis development and mass-production capability – it sold 500,000 units last year and is China's fastest growing automaker. It is also, notably, the only Chinese company to have passed EU Certification standards and has been exporting to Europe since 2006.

It may take until the end of the year before concept designs are released, and several years before Job One is completed. When it finally does hit the open road, expect to see it in the U.S. with Coda branding and in China and other markets bearing Great Wall badging. Buried lede: though still unofficial, this effort may be only the first of an entire lineup of vehicles. Make your way past the break for the official press release.
Show full PR text
CODA Holdings and Great Wall Motors to Jointly Co-develop Affordable Electric Vehicle

Globally leading EV and Battery System developer and China's fastest growing car company to develop affordable electric vehicles globally

LOS ANGELES, April 24th, 2012 – CODA Holdings, a leading developer of all-electric vehicles and advanced battery systems, today announced it has signed a contract with Great Wall Motors Company to co-develop the first all-electric vehicle for worldwide development and distribution.

Designed for the North American, Chinese, and European markets, this co-developed EV is intended to be the most affordable EV on the market, comparable to entry-level internal combustion engine vehicles.

"This marks the launch of our partnership with Great Wall Motors that will enable us to bring EVs to global markets in a very efficient and cost effective manner," said Phil Murtaugh, CEO, CODA Holdings. "We're excited to work with Great Wall Motors to develop the second product in Coda's portfolio, to bring another solution to a global problem and together make high-quality clean technology accessible. Ultimately, this will enable drivers worldwide to go electric affordably and support our mission of putting an EV in everyone's garage."

The joint effort will blend CODA's leading battery technology, knowledge of the US market and deep experience with global joint ventures with the expertise of China's fastest growing and most profitable automotive producer. Known for its high-quality sedans, SUVs and pick-up trucks, Great Wall Motors is the fastest growing OEM in China, delivering nearly 500,000 vehicles in 2011 worldwide.

Combining the product portfolio and manufacturing assets of Great Wall with the expertise of EV propulsion systems and battery technology from CODA, both companies aim to benefit from their ability to rapidly develop product and manufacturing processes. Products will be developed by employees of both companies in their research facilities in LA and Baoding, China. Vehicles will be sub-assembled in Great Wall's manufacturing facilities in Baoding. Final assembly of US destined vehicles will take place in Coda's facility in the US.

"We're thrilled to combine the expertise of Great Wall Motors and CODA to create a solution to a global problem together," said Wei Jianjun, chairman of Great Wall Motors. "We envision a long-term, successful relationship with CODA, creating industry-leading EVs for our generation and beyond."

About Great Wall Motor Company

Based in Baoding, China, Great Wall Motor Company Limited was the first private vehicle automaker listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and currently has more than 30 subsidiaries and 42,000 employees. Their three primary vehicle lines include the Haval SUV, Voleex Sedan, Wingle Pickup and MPV wagon which accounted for more than 390,000 vehicles sold in 2010, a year-on-year increase of 70%. In 2011 487,000 vehicles were sold, a 23 percent increase over the prior year, making it the fastest growing and most profitable Chinese OEM and the first Chinese manufacturer to pass the stringent passenger car European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA). Among many quality and corporate awards, Great Wall was also listed as a Forbes "Top 100 Chinese Enterprises" twice.

About CODA Holdings

Headquartered in Los Angeles, CODA Holdings is a leading developer of advanced Lithium-ion power battery systems comprised of three key business lines: CODA Automotive, CODA EV Propulsion Systems and CODA Energy. Together with its JV partner, CODA is working to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and leading the way to a cleaner future through its electric vehicles and stationary energy storage products. The first consumer product is a zero emission four-door, five-passenger EV sedan with a full-size trunk that is designed to meet American drivers' daily transportation needs. For more information on the CODA sedan, visit www.codaautomotive.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      Warren
      • 2 Years Ago
      Coda has no hope of selling their big sedan, head-to-head with Nissan, Ford, etc. I hope they really do come out with a cheap, two seat mini-car, I can buy!! 12kWh, 1200 pounds, tandem, two seat, tall skinny wheels. A 2CV for the 21st century!!
      LEONARD
      • 2 Years Ago
      Just build the Zap Atlas, or anything less than $15k
      Ryan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Interesting... I think this is the only play that Coda could make. Hopefully they will come up with a good design for a good price. The issue is what price will they be able to reach, and will other companies start reducing their prices as well.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ryan
        chuckles:) take a look at their thing they have produced already. there must be at least 20 of them sold nationwide now. and beware imho. you have goldman sachs principals (hoping for your 8k taxpayer kickin/subsidy to augment what you and your grandchilderen will pay for in their bank fraud scheming) coupled with those reliably honest and quality driven chinese government people. patience grasshopper. good stuff will be coming that's going to be able to meet your needs.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 2 Years Ago
      incompetent1 teaming up with incompetent2. this should be good
        pete.angel
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        I wonder which blatantly ripped off design of a Great Wall car Coda will try to slap a battery under, whether it fits or not. Will it be the Honda Fit ripoff, the Scion xB ripoff or the Toyota Yaris ripoff? And will this car get A) an infinitesimal range (by design) B) terrible dynamics (by design), or C) a higher price tag when it comes to market than the press release indicates (also by design)? And before all that, how many sales is Coda up to? 50? 100? Let's hold the "this could be big" talk until they have at least 1,000 cars on the road.
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Will it be an ev with a gasoline range extender because i prefer recharging at home and occasionally im doing a long trip and anyway if it's coming from china then i will get a rebate on the battery and the range extender so why not take the 2 and also in cold canadian winter nights i will feel more secure with extra energy for the cold .
      Marco Polo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Great Wall is another PRC automaker well practised in copying other companies designs. Many Great Wall' s senior directors and executives are graduates of the PRC CCP, cadre and political espionage apparatus. Many Directors hold PRC government positions and Great Wall is heavily subsidised by the PRC state. US companies like Coda are really prostituting US technology for short term gain. Sinophiles ignore the human rights violations, trade violations, political and legal corruption of PRC corporations, simply to find a cheap product to import . Such short term gain, is always paid for with long term pain. Warren and Ryan etc , may feel good about the idea of a cheap PRC built EV, but when the US and European makes have disappeared due to unfair competition, their children will curse them for their selfishness.
        Warren
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        My kids will never afford $37K EV's. Expensive EV's will never replace cheap ICE cars, so my kids will curse us anyway driving climate over the edge.
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Warren
          @warren So.....the prices will never come down, the environ,ent will suck, climate will change, we're all gonna die, and our kids will hate us. Aren't you a ray of sunshine. Why is it the right wingers all seem happier and more optimistic? We are supposed to be all angry and stuff.
          Vlad
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Warren
          Mitsubishi is cheaper than that already. Nissan is cheaper after tax rebate. And efficiency of scale hasn't even been approached.
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Warren
          @ Warren. I'm sorry if you feel your children will never be able to afford a $37,000 EV. It seems an extraordinarily pessimistic prediction to make in a nation whose average per capita income currently exceeds $53, 000 p.a., and where the average price of a new car is $34,000. (EV's receive up to $10,000 tax rebates in some states). Your children will not be able to buy any sort of EV, if the US discovers it has no industrial employment, no capital, and the dysfunctional social issues of a failed and subservient economy. The PRC is building more than 3 massive coal fired power stations per week to keep expanding it 's industrial output. (851 in the next 6 years) . I don't see how shifting climate change practises from the US to the PRC really helps the Bio-sphere! Worse, such a development would increase the PRC's merchant shipping fleet, each ship using bunker oil, is equal to the equivalent pollution from 50 million cars per year ! PRC industrial production is inherently more pollutant than most developed industrial nations. Selling out your principles, the environment, country and fellow American worker, just to save a few bucks on an inferior product, is not something your children, or anyones children will benefit from. Coda's backers and directors are most people whose environmental credentials or business ethics, don't stand critical scrutiny ! .
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Warren
          "The PRC is building more than 3 massive coal fired power stations per week to keep expanding it 's industrial output. (851 in the next 6 years) ." Well stop selling them coal then!
      ev_ftw
      • 2 Years Ago
      So a Chinese company and a Chinese company are teaming up to pollute the world with crappy cars? This is good for the US, how?
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ev_ftw
        this is comical and yet infuriating. with all the positives in e-cars to see this pile o dung chinese taxi with the no name outfit designed control electronics sitting here on stage with these goldman sachs dirtbags (out to fleece the taxpayers again with gov't subsidies again) ought to raise many people's ire. there was clearly something wrong in this design (probably from company no name doing the control electronics) and that is why this thing took 4 to 5 years just to show up.....with a 10 year old body style to boot. good luck the handful of people who opted for this centuries edsel while good competition sits on the lots.
      Warren
      • 2 Years Ago
      Marco polo, "average per capita income currently exceeds $53, 000" I have one foot in boiling water, and one frozen in a block of ice. On average, I am doing fine. The top third is doing fine. "where the average price of a new car is $34,000" None of the middle class people I know own their cars. They are sharecroppers in suits. If they actually paid for the cars they drive, the average price of a car would be $17K It is all just as bad as you say, and I don't see anybody, in government or industry willing to talk about the coming no growth world our kids will have to live in.
        Marco Polo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Warren
        @Warren You seem to live in a pessimistic world where you depress yourself by distort any facts or evidence to suit your own myopic view of the world ! It's small wonder that you find life and the US, melancholic. The success of any consumer society is based on credit. Like every advantage, credit is useful tool to enrich your life, if used wisely. From mans early civilisation, until today, credit is the basis of prosperity, and wealth creation. Of course it can have downsides, but the economic benefits far outweigh the negatives. A student who borrows to attend college, if better off than not attending college and condemning himself to a lifetime of drudgery. For $ 96.00 per week, you could be driving a new GM Volt/ Leaf etc. and not only helping out yourself with once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get the government pay up to 25% of your purchase price, but you can also help out the environment, while employing your fellow citizen !
          Warren
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Marco Polo, "The success of any consumer society is based on credit." I don't want to discuss religion.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ugh. Moral dilemma. Cheap EV . . . good. Selling out to China . . . not so good. :-/
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Dude, you don't even know how hard it is for me to build this EV stuff with a straight face. Literally NOTHING comes from America. Not even the wires or switches. A few years ago, i could get connectors, wires, and switches from domestic sources, but those days are long gone. I can't find a single part ( like even a high temperature zip tie to fasten the wires to the stator ) for a motor or controller domestically. If the part is even in the local electronics shop's catalog, it comes straight from China from a broker, who tacks on 33% or more, and there is a minimum of 100-1,000 units, and then it's marked up yet again.. making the China part cost just a bit less than the American.. but the American part either no longer exists, or is from a company that will be out of business in a year or two anyway. Even the bike frame and parts come from China.. So what the hell is the use resisting. It's a depressing, yet losing game. Our government ( Clinton era ) set the ball rolling for us to hand all our manufacturing business over to China in the 1990's so that we can become a 'service economy' instead... that needs to change.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          http://www.nelcoproducts.com/shopping/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=234&cat=PEEK+High+Temp+Cable+Ties http://www.wiringproducts.com/contents/en-us/d42_automotive_wire.html The internet is a great resource for finding American-made products.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Oh i had a point somewhere in that rant, hehe: Expect more 'built in America', but all parts from China in the future. We're pretty much there already.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          That's why I'm getting a Tesla. Plenty of parts are from overseas but a lot of the parts are built in house too.
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