Coda Automotive and Chinese automaker Great Wall Motor Co. will soon co-develop an electric vehicle that will be offered in the market during the second quarter of 2014. The letter of intent for the joint development of EVs was signed last year by both parties. Phil Murtaugh, the CEO of the Los Angeles startup electric vehicle maker, said that this EV would be the first product of this alliance to build vehicles that will be priced competitively against conventional vehicles after taking into account the government incentives. With this deal, Coda is able to access the vehicle portfolio of Great Wall as well as get insight on the Chinese vehicle market.
What Great Wall gets is a partner that offers electric propulsion systems, such as battery packs, energy management systems and drivetrain technology. Murtaugh said that this business alliance has set a goal to create a lineup of affordable EVs that will be distributed in all global EV markets: North America, China and Europe. Murtaugh didn’t say if the vehicle would be a car or a crossover.
He would only say that this EV would be based on a Great Wall model. In the U.S., this vehicle will be named Coda. While in China, it would be a Great Wall model. Murtaugh said that branding for Europe hasn’t been decided yet.
Murtaugh said that from its view, this step is highly important in the continuing development of Coda. He said that Great Wall would continue to develop Coda and so that the EV propulsion technology will begin at the heart of their EVs. This announcement is made more than a month after Coda started with retail sales of its first EV, the Coda Sedan, in California. Murtaugh said that this is still a “a soft launch.”