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Chinese EV joins the race...CODA

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

While companies like ZAP are struggling to get away from China and into an entirely US based manufacturing scene, others are taking the opposite route.  Enter Coda.

 

The engineers from Miles EV, have been working with a company in China based on a similar development concept as the Tesla, by finding a gasoline car that shows potential to be sold in the US as an electric car.  There has been much talk about the safety of electric vehicles, and of course crash test ratings are the big hurdle for a lot of these companies.  But the new Coda is believed to be up to the challenge and looking forward to a 4 out of 5 star rating.  (Which seems to go against Chinese cars historically.) Taken from this article.

 

The other interesting note is that as a gas car in China, it costs about $12k, but is projected to be closer to $45k as an EV in the US.  Not that great considering the Tesla Sedan is just $55k and another Chinese competitor BYD is planning a plug-in hybrid at around $16k.

 

I'm curious what thoughts you have regarding the balance of using overseas labor to make the car more affordable over bringing production home to try to boost our economy and improve quality assurance.  How do we weigh affordability, safety, and corporate responsibility?

post #2 of 4

Well for one thing I don't think BYD is going to offer a plug-in for $16k.  From what I've read, it will be in the $30k range once it's offered in the US.

 

I'm surprised the Coda is going to cost $45k given that it's manufactured in China.  The ZAP Alias, for example, is supposed to have very similar specs to the Miles/Coda highway speed EV in terms of range and top speed, but is supposed to cost around $35k and may even be manufactured in the US.  The Aptera similarly is around $30k, manufactured in the US, with similar specs.  So I'm not seeing where Coda is saving big bucks here.

 

Personally I'd prefer a US-made EV from both a quality and domestic jobs perspective.  If significant money can be saved with overseas manufacturing, it would be good to see some companies offer that as well to give people a choice.  They'll have to pass our crash tests either way, and the nice thing about EVs is that there are a lot fewer parts than a gas car to break down.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

I agree with you about the cost discrepancy.  I think the savings comes in the "normal" car classification with the safety ratings.  The Alias and Aptera are still considered motorcycles and aren't exactly family friendly.

 

Personally I am totally baffled by the fact that receiving a crash test rating and having four wheels essentially doubles the price of a car in the US.  I've heard all the info about the cost of ratings and all that other stuff but it just seems unrealistic to me.

 

Of course, right now, Li-Ion is a huge part of EV cost too, the typical battery pack for the quoted specs will have an end cost of between $10k and $12k for the consumer.  Add that to the cheapest new car you can buy in the US, which is probably a KIA for about $13k, and there is that $25k sticker (depending on how much you are saving for parts that aren't used in the EV version).

 

EV consumers are so tricky to tag.  You could say that by now, they are so ready for an EV they will take the first affordable one on the market, regardless of its origin, but on the other hand, EV seekers may have more influence from their values when it comes to consumer decisions.  It will be interesting in the next few years to see what shape the majority of EV consumers will take.

post #4 of 4

Oh yeah good point, I forgot that the Alias and Aptera get to bypass crash testing.  Aptera at least has done a good job making a convincing argument that their car is pretty safe despite the lack of crash testing, I think.  That may be a tough sell for some consumers.  It will definitely be interesting to see how people balance safety, quality assurance, and cost in future EV purchases.

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