Deal to bring cheap elec­tric cars Down Un­der

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By PAUL GOVER

THE world’s cheap­est cars might come to Aus­tralia wear­ing Great Wall badges in a new part­ner­ship be­tween the US and China.

Amer­i­can com­pany CODA Hold­ings has joined forces with Great Wall, to take the elec­tric ex­per­tise that has seen it de­velop an af­ford­able, but ba­sic and qual­ity chal­lenged, elec­tric car for sales in the US.

The com­pa­nies are talk­ing about a price that matches the cheap­est in­ter­nal com­bus­tion cars, point­ing to sub-$15,000.

CODA has made solid ground with de­vel­op­ment of its ad­vanced bat­tery sys­tems, but the new deal is a big break­through for the Cal­i­for­nia-based com­pany.

It now has forged a part­ner­ship with Great Wall that is in­tended to pro­duce a plug-in bat­tery ve­hi­cle that is the cheap­est in the world, and priced well be­low ev­ery­thing from the Smart ForTwo ED and $51,500 Nis­san Leaf to the Mit­subishi iMieEV al­ready avail­able in Aus­tralia for $48,800.

There is no con­fir­ma­tion yet of the CODA-Great Wall plug-in, but it is planned as a truly global model and a corner­stone of the two com­pa­nies’ fu­ture model plans.

‘‘We’re thrilled to com­bine the ex­per­tise of Great Wall Mo­tors and CODA to cre­ate a so­lu­tion to a global prob­lem to­gether,’’ chair­man of Great Wall Mo­tors, Wei Jian­jun says.

‘‘We en­vi­sion a long-term, suc­cess­ful re­la­tion­ship with CODA, cre­at­ing in­dus­trylead­ing EVs for our gen­er­a­tion and be­yond.’’

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of CODA Hold­ings, Phil Mur­taugh says: ‘‘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.

‘‘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.’’

He said this would help driv­ers world­wide go elec­tric af­ford­ably and sup­port the mis­sion of putting an EV in ev­ery­one’s garage.’’

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