We rip on the Volt a lot around here. And with good reason. But at least GM’s moonshot has a few things going for it, like a gas range-extender, a real (if devastated) dealer network, a metric ton of government money and over a year of relentless hype. Coda Automotive has none of those things, but apparently widespread ridicule of the Volt and other overly optimistic variations on the overpriced EV theme aren’t stopping the firm from letting it all hang out for the LA Times.
The firm plans to import a $45,000 Chinese sedan with an all-electric range of 90-100 miles, but only to California. The car itself is built by Chinese state-owned automaker Hafei, and is powered by a 330-volt battery made by Tianjin Lishen Battery Joint-Stock Co. Comparing the car to the Tesla Model S (a sure sign of this project’s seriousness), Coda CEO Kevin Czinger calls it “an all-electric vehicle for everyone.” Anyone with a sense of humor need not apply. “We found that people who had gas-powered vehicles brought up time and time again that they were interested in alternative options, but that the vehicles always look so weird,” says Czinger. So they made it look as much like an uninspired Chinese sedan as they could. You know, on purpose. Anyway, if this is all sounding a bit familiar, it’s because Coda is a rebrand of Miles Electric Vehicles and this particular whip actually has been hyped for a good two years (just under the names Miles and Javlon).