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Hafei's products in the U.S. thanks to Miles Automotive

55488 Views 44 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  Chinese LSEV
Street-Legal Chinese Hatchback Now on Sale in U.S.

NEW YORK — Miles Automotive has begun distributing a small, battery-powered Chinese hatchback to a few U.S. dealerships in one of the first salvos from this emerging market.

The Miles ZX40, priced from just under $15,000, is modest enough. The car has a top speed of only 25 mph and a range of 40 miles. But the distributor promises bigger and better things coming in 2007, including a new model — the XS200 — that will have a range of 200 miles, a top speed of 80 mph and a price tag of around $28,500.

The ZX40 started out life years ago as a Japanese minicompact, the Daihatsu Move. It migrated to China, where it is assembled in Tianjin by a subsidiary of auto giant FAW and rebadged as the Xinfu, or Happy Messenger. The electric version is manufactured by another Tianjin-based company, Qingyuan.

Miles Automotive describes the vehicle as "street legal," but the Chinese manufacturer says the target customers are townships, military bases, ports and research institutions.

What this means to you: The ZX40 is not to be confused with ZX Auto, another would-be U.S. distributor of Chinese vehicles made by Zhongxing.
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Miles Automotive sells electric vehicles, manufactured in China

American company Miles Automotive Group is importing Chinese electric vehicles Tianjin Qingyuan Happy Messenger to the United States. The are also offering off-road version which is not street-legal. Cheapest version costs 15.000 USD.

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It seems Miles Automotive signed a deal with Hafei. Americans presented two new all-electric vehicles.

Miles ZX40ST:

is of course nothing else than Hafei Min yi:

Miles XS500 (which is soon coming to the market) on the other hand:

is Hafei Saibao III equiped with electric engine.

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Miles ZX40ST is Hafei Min yi:

and Miles XS500 is of course Hafei Saibao III equiped with electric engine:
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First China-made electric car to hit U.S. next year.

May 30, 2008 - The first Chinese-made electric-powered car to hit the U.S. market is on its way. The Miles XS500 is "rather nondescript," according to Forbes, but "What's sexy is inside: Under the hood is an electric motor powered by a 700-pound lithium-ion battery." A California-based startup company called Miles Electric Vehicles is importing the car (from China), believing it "is zippy and affordable enough to shake up the auto biz when 4,000 go on sale in as many as 100 dealerships late next year." If it clears legal hurdles, it will be the first Chinese-made electric car to go on sale in the U.S.

The company "aims to sell 30,000 XS500s in 2010 to two-car families that are willing to ditch one gas-powered car or hybrid for an electric vehicle. Its 120-mile range (on normal terrain) might be enough for commuters." It may cost as much as $35,000, though company officials say it will be so much cheaper to own than a gasoline-powered car that it will make the investment worthwhile.

The car has yet to be tested to see if it conforms to American crash standards. Miles Electric officials plan safety upgrades they hope will make the car compatible with U.S. laws. Greentech, however, says "The company already has received more than 10,000 inquiries about buying the vehicle."

So is a Chinese auto invasion upon the Amercans? Industry analysts have expected to see Chinese cars for sale in the U.S. eventually. The recent 2008 Beijing Auto Show featured its usual assortment of (somewhat amusing) blatant knock-offs of western-made cars. But it also offered displays of some serious vehicles that some observers said could almost compete in western markets, all made by domestic Chinese companies.

But Motor Trend says they won't be here anytime soon. "Perhaps the best way to make sense of China's own-brand automakers is to apply simple math," MT writes. "Last year, they sold just over 1.5 million vehicles in their home market -- a total market share of less than 20 percent, divided among 24 nameplates. Imagine 24 nameplates fighting for the slice of the market GM owns here in the U.S. It just doesn't add up." They conclude: Make no mistake, the Chinese automakers are coming, but maybe not soon.
source: U.S. News
Live pictures of Miles ZX40S being tested.

Translation from Chinese:
Do not think that this is in a foreign country, now this door and rear says "all-electric, zero emissions" is the slogan of the car's current filming the third test is a testing ground for products. The pure electric-powered vehicles by Tianjin Qingyuan Electric Vehicle R & D building, is still in the testing stage.

As a result of pure electric vehicles belonging to new energy vehicles, in the National Development and Reform Commission "car directory Notice" is not in this category, so the public security organs can not give it on the license, in our country can not be a journey.

However, Qingyuan companies firmly believe that the relevant person in charge 1-2 years, will address this problem, the success of the road! At present, this car has been successfully exported to the United States, at the same time Qingyuan company R & D and manufacturing of pure power-driven CMB and trucks are also exported overseas markets.

The pure electric vehicle in the left side of the back door charging jack, charging plug one end of the power cord to connect to the car jack, the other end to connect to the 220-volt power outlet port, you can charge. In accordance with the design, ordinary car at full power under a state of traveling 200 kilometers, the city suitable for office workers to work during the day and at night, charging, within seven hours to complete storage. Car batteries for electric vehicles in accordance with the R & D direction, the future may be short-time charge of fast charging system will be developed using, 5-10 minutes to add the power increase will allow car driving distance, the realization of long-distance running.

Not only have the means of transport function, this Qingyuan pure electric vehicles with the same air-conditioning and sound system, and ordinary cars there is no difference. More and more scarce in the energy today, rising oil prices is an irreversible trend, pure electric-powered car, sooner or later, will usher in the spring.
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Miles EV launches Coda Automotive.

Today, Miles EV announced that the full speed electric car that it has been developing for the last several years will bear the new Coda Automotive brand name. The Coda sedan will be assembled in China by Hafei under the direction of staff from Coda. The new car is based on an existing Hafei chassis that has been heavily re-engineered by Porsche Engineering. The car is powered by a UQM electric motor driving the front wheels with energy storage via a lithium iron phosphate battery pack.

The 34 kWh pack will use cells provided by Chinese battery maker Lishen. The two companies are apparently forming a joint venture for battery manufacturing and hope to eventually produce batteries in the United States. Coda and an unnamed partner have also applied for a DOE loan under the ATVM program to build battery packs in the U.S.

Coda expects real world range to be about 90-120 miles, depending on driving conditions. According to the company, the EV sedan will go on sale in 2010 with factory direct sales at a price of $45,000 before incentives. Following a 200-fleet test in the summer of that year, Coda will be offered to the public starting in the Fall.

Coda Automotive Unveils Mainstream All-Electric Sedan

Announces Global JV with Lishen to Develop Automotive Grade Battery Systems

Santa Monica, CA – June 3, 2009 – Coda Automotive, formed and developed under the stewardship of entrepreneur Miles Rubin (known for his marketing and sales of low-speed, electric fleet vehicles under the Miles Electric Vehicles brand), today announced that it will be introducing an affordable, full performance all-electric sedan to the mainstream California market in 2010. Additionally, the company, which has an existing long-term sourcing contract with Tianjin Lishen Battery Joint-Stock Co., Ltd., (Lishen) for lithium-ion batteries used in the Coda, announced the establishment of a global joint venture with Lishen to design, manufacture and sell transportation and utility power storage battery systems.

As a new automotive company, Coda Automotive's focus will be on branding, designing and manufacturing fully safety compliant, all-electric cars capable of mainstream performance and highway use. Scheduled for delivery in the fall of 2010 in California, the four-door, five-passenger, fully-equipped mid-size Coda sedan will be available for $45,000 (mid-$30,000s after including a $7,500 Federal tax credit and additional state incentives). Powered by a 333V lithium-ion battery with a real-world range of 90 to 120 miles depending on individual driving habits, the Coda sedan travels far enough between charges to satisfy 94% of daily driving routines. The onboard charger plugs into any 110 or 220V standard outlet and completes a full charge in less than six hours at a 220V service. Charging the battery for a 40-mile commute can be completed in two hours.

"The Coda sedan is an all-electric vehicle for everyone," said Kevin Czinger, President and CEO, Coda Automotive. "It's a practical revolution for real drivers who need reliable transportation."
The battery system is the chief enabling technology for electric cars and Coda has established its strategic position in the development and commercialization of automotive grade battery systems through the joint venture with Lishen. Lishen is one of the world's largest manufacturers of lithium-ion cells and a key supplier to Apple, Motorola, Samsung and Vodafone, among others. The joint venture's manufacturing facility is located within Lishen's existing manufacturing complex in Tianjin, China, thus accelerating the company's ability to commercialize the battery system and bring an all-electric car to the mass market. Plans have been made to establish capacity in the U.S. in partnership with a U.S. battery company.

"The uncertainty of battery supply is an issue that plagues many electric vehicle manufacturers today," explains Czinger. "This long-term agreement has enabled us to design an integrated battery system with an existing world-class partner with mass manufacturing capacity. That enables us to rapidly industrialize Coda's power system for commercial volume production and to scale the business. Eventually, we expect to manufacture batteries in the U.S."

Coda's internal team, along with specialized U.S. and European engineering partners, oversee the manufacturing process to ensure that Coda vehicles are built to Western safety specifications and market expectations. This includes vehicle body design, safety engineering, the design and engineering of the battery pack, battery management system and power electronics, and additional engineering to integrate an electric vehicle drivetrain (comprised primarily of Tier 1 U.S.-based supplier components) into the chassis. The Coda sedan is engineered to be FMVSS complaint, and based on existing crash test results the company expects a four or five-Star NCAP crash rating.

Coda Automotive employs a creative, open and flexible variable cost/low capital expenditure business model. The company has a core team of engineers who work with a network of top-tier partners that provide engineering services and components. The company controls brand, design and IP while teaming with established large-scale manufacturers and assemblers to avoid the most capital intensive aspect of the car business. Coda's manufacturing partner, Hafei, is an established state-owned Chinese manufacturer of automobiles and airplanes and has delivered more than one-million vehicles and currently produces two-hundred thousand vehicles per year.
Featuring a fraction of the moving parts of a gas-powered vehicle, the Coda sedan is less susceptible to wear-and-tear and never requires an oil change. The company estimates that it will cost less than $3, on average, to drive 100 miles. A comparable gas-powered sedan that gets 20 mpg costs about $17 per 100 miles. Driving a Coda equates to over $2,000 in operation and maintenance savings per year at normal driving rates – that's $20,000 in savings over a ten year period.

The Coda sedan is fully-equipped for comfort, convenience and safety. Factory-standard equipment includes a telematics package, navigation with turn-by-turn directions, a "green screen" that monitors driving efficiency, roadside assistance with an emergency button, a Bluetooth system with an embedded microphone, AM/FM/XM radio with Sirius satellite capability, iPod dock, MP3/USB connectivity, security system, aluminum wheels, and power windows, doors and mirrors. Safety equipment includes anti-lock brakes with electronic stability control and advanced airbags with an occupant detection system. The vehicle is backed by a three-year/36,000 mile warranty.
Coda Automotive employs a direct distribution model, and will sell the vehicle only in the state of California initially. Coda will also perform the vehicle's maintenance and service through an outsourced network comprised of brand name car service partners. Customers interested in purchasing a CODA can register their interest on the new CODA website at HYPERLINK "" The company will contact interested customers on a first come, first served basis later this year.

For more information, please visit HYPERLINK ""
About Coda Automotive: Headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., Coda Automotive is a manufacturer and distributor of all-electric, highway capable vehicles. Launched in June 2009, the company brands, designs, markets and distributes electric vehicles utilizing a manufacturing partnership strategy which allows Coda Automotive to develop vehicles rapidly in a flexible manner – avoiding the traditionally capital-intensive nature of the automobile business. Coda Automotive's first vehicle, the Coda sedan, will be delivered in the fall of 2010.

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First review of Coda.

August 17, 2009 - Coda Review

On Saturday, Kevin Czinger, CEO of Coda, the new American car company that split off from Miles Automotive, brought the prototype of their new highway capable EV to our Electric Vehicle Assoc. meeting in Diamond Bar, CA. I have been following this car for over three years since hearing about it in the spring of 2006. Back then, I was told it would be available in a couple of years, but as these things go, it's still a year from delivery. Kevin assured us delivery would begin in August of 2010, putting this one ahead of both Nissan's Leaf and the Chevy Volt. He said they plan on selling about 2,000 units the first year thinking that will break into 40% fleet sales and 60% private. In year two, they will be prepared to make up to 20,000 cars.

The Coda's styling isn't going to turn heads on the highway, but since I often get asked why EVs have to look "so weird", I expect the vanilla styling will suit quite a few folks just fine. It's along the lines of a Toyota Corolla in size and looks. The fit and finish was better than I expected since it is coming off an assembly line in China. It appears the Chinese are improving quickly in this regard. Ultimately, they want to manufacture and assemble the Coda in California.

The range is a solid 100 miles based on the US06 driving cycle, a much more realistic test than the old EPA ratings used. The capacity of the 700 lb. Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePo) battery pack is 33.7 kWh which compares well to my RAV's 27 kWh. The batteries provide 333 volts and have been tested to over 1500 cycles which should be plenty for the 8 year, 100,000 mile warranty. One pertinent piece of info was his assertion that they are buying battery cells at "under $600 kWh". This is considerably less than most quotes I've seen and very close to the $500/kWh level at which I believe is the break even point with internal combustion at today's gas prices.

The weight is a bit on the high side at 3500 lbs. Kevin says they expect to drop that by several hundred pounds by the second generation. Porche engineering helped design part of the exterior and the interior, although the prototype didn't display all of the interior changes the final model will have.

After our meeting, Kevin graciously allowed 3-4 of us to pile in the car for a test ride over and over until about 30 of us had taken a turn. I didn't get to drive it myself, but he wasn't afraid to put the car through it paces for us. Even with four full sized adults, the car performed very well. Acceleration off the line was decent and at about 40 mph going up a hill, the car was still able to accelerate strongly. 0-60 is just under 10 seconds and top speed is 85 mph.

They do have a slight regenerative braking built in when you let off the pedal, but it's weak compared to the RAV and very weak compared to the Mini E or Tesla. I don't know if this is because they are using the UQM DC brushless motor/controller, or if there is another reason, but those who drive EVs love regen braking, so maybe they'll strengthen it later. All EVs should incorporate AC Propulsion's regen with a steering wheel control to allow freewheeling. The combination of the two will allow for the most efficient driving possible.

Charging will be at 6.6 kW, the same as our RAV and fast enough for most needs. High speed charging will be possible once the 50 kW chargers are deployed along the freeways.

Price? Good question. Earlier reports pegged it at $45,000, but Kevin hinted the car would sell for closer to $32,000 after tax credits, but when I tried to pin him down on an exact price, he hedged a bit. This is how all the car companies act when talking price. I understand and don't blame them since a year is a long time, and between component costs and competitive vehicles entering the market about the same time, I expect most will wait until about a month from actual delivery to lock down the price.

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Review at Autoblog:

Back in August, members of the Diamond Bar Electric Vehicle Association were treated to rides in t he Coda all-electric sedan with Coda Automotive CEO Kevin Czinger at the wheel. This past weekend, AutoblogGreen was given the same opportunity during the AltCar Expo at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Our 15 minutes in the passenger seat were a real tease – this is a standard-looking EV with more punch than a mid-size-sedan deserves (it felt more feisty than its 0-60 speed of just under 10 seconds sounds), and we can't wait for the chance to drive it for ourselves.

A quick refresher on what the Coda Sedan will offer: a top speed of 85 mph, seating for four/five, a 100-mile range and a sales price of under $30,000 in California (after state and federal rebates). We didn't sit in the back seat, but should have remembered to do so since we've heard a few reports that it's a tight fit. We did, however, make the most of our time sitting shotgun – after getting the car out of the clever "Break Glass In Emergency" stand it was in most of the weekend – feeling the zero-emission power and learning about where Coda is today with their first vehicle offering.

Some people say the Coda EV is ugly. We just think it's bland, and that it looks a lot better in person than it does in pictures. We agree with those who don't want every electric car to look like an iMiEV or a Peapod. We like the look of those rides – especially the iMiEV – but don't think a car's powertain needs to define its look. Czinger thinks that the car's looks won't really matter, not when the highway-speed EV will be available for under $30k. "This car may not be the most futuristic looking on the outside, but it's the most revolutionary [electric vehicle] by far," he said. Why? Because of the inexpensive batteries.

Coda, which began as a project of neighborhood electric vehicle producer Miles Automotive, is taking a completely different approach to mainstreaming EVs than Tesla Motors. Tesla started at the top end with the $100k Roadster, which is the car that got the world excited about EVs. Up next for Tesla will be the Model S for $40k or $50k. Only after that we hope to see the Tesla Motors car that is rumored to be priced at or around $30,000. Coda is going to for mass adoption from the get go, and Czinger said that the most important thing about the sedan is that Coda Automotive has created its own cell-up automotive-grade battery system design. The company did all of the battery and thermal management and owns or co-owns all of the IP. Coda Automotive also co-owns the manufacturing process with the "premiere Chinese state-owned lithium battery manufacturer" Tianjin Lishen Battery Joint-Stock Co., Ltd. Coda will use Lischen's million-sq.ft. battery manufacturing facility in China to make the packs. Coda wanted to reproduce this plant in the U.S., but did not get any money from the $2.4 billion in Recovery Act battery grants that were awarded in August.

"All of the companies that got loans were located in the Midwest," Czinger said. "We now, though, are going to reapply to replicate that battery facility that we have in China here in California. Hopefully, we will get support given that we actually are the first company that – certainly the first American company, but I believe the first company – that has a series production design lithium ion battery system that is automotive grade.

"That's a pretty big deal. The key to this whole thing is the price performance of the battery system. What is absolutely revolutionary is that if you have a car that, with subsidies, can go to the consumer in the $20s, then consumer demand is going to drive improvements in price and performance, and that tells you what the future is going to be for electric cars."

Czinger criticized the Leaf for costing too much – and has a shorter range than the Coda EV – and said that Nissan's EV will not create a revolution. "[The Coda's] price performance level allows you to kick-start the adoption of all-electric vehicles." Czinger believes that since the Coda will have lower maintenance and fuel costs than a comparable gas vehicle, the sedan should offer savings of over $10,000 over five years.

"This car has the same value as a car that sells in the teens, but it's totally zero-emission," he said. "That, to me is a revolution."

Riding in the Coda Sedan only feels a little bit revolutionary. The vehicle's 3,500 lbs. get around quickly, especially accelerating from a full stop. Sadly, we never got to go over 40 mph and so couldn't get a feel for how the car performs on the highway. We expect it to work just fine, but can't wait to test it out for ourselves. Accelerations and decelerations all felt smooth, thanks to the Borg Warner's new single-speed eGearDrive transmission. The whine of the electric motor was noticeable from the cabin – and sort of loud when Czinger really stepped on the pedal – but it wasn't an annoying sound and we imagine that a more complete sound dampening system will be in place before the car goes on sale next year.

Speaking of that transmission, Czinger said that even though the car is made in China, 35 percent of the car, by cost of materials, is made in the U.S. The sedan uses UQM motors, the Borg Warner transmission, a DC/DC converter from Delphi and Leer makes the 6.6 kW charger. All of these are U.S.-sourced parts. "It might be the most American all-electric vehicle today, period," Czinger said.

Then he said something interesting. If Coda manages to build the California battery plant and then can make the batteries in California, the sedan would be made of 80 percent parts manufactured in the U.S., by cost. Grabbing the nearest envelope to do math on the back of, we think he's saying that the 34 kWh pack makes up about 45 percent the cost of the car, right?

While supplier contracts have been locked in, there has been a series production design freeze, and hard tooling has been ordered, the production model will differ slightly from the car we were able to spend fifteen short minutes in. The front end will get a horizontal line that will help with low-speed crashes. On the inside, the dash and instrument cluster will be changed, and the gear selector will be a rotary shifter instead of the gearstick in the current prototype. Instead of the unimpressive vinyl we sat on, the company is considering some sort of eco-fabric (made from recycled bottles, for example) for the interior. The navigation/touch screen will also be a new design. We also expect the icon on the lever that opens the recharging panel to be changed.

Czinger said that full telematics in the car will allow you to do online diagnostics 24/7 and that he expects a five-star crash rating from NCAP. Coda has done lots of crash testing already with help from the "A Team" of the automotive industry to guide the start-up company through the process.

All of this means that Coda is sticking to its timeline: fleet tests late next summer and delivery of the first cars to individuals and fleets in late 2010. Coda Automotive hopes to sell 2,000 units in the first year and 20,000 in the second. If the company can meet the targets that Czinger laid out during out first test ride, those aren't outrageous goals.

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Coda priced at 44,900 USD in the US.

What plug-in car will cost more than a Nissan Leaf or a Chevrolet Volt but is virtually unknown to the American public? The Coda EV Sedan, that's what. Coda Automotive has announced that the price for its all-electric vehicle will be $44,900 – or, $37,400 after the feds chip in $7,500 as a tax credit. To compare, the Leaf costs $25,280 after incentives and the Volt can be had for $33,500 with federal help. So, your options will be to either buy a Volt and get an electric vehicle with a range extender or spend $4,000 more to go gas-free and have a longer EV-only range. Or, spend a lot less on the Leaf ($12,120) and go almost as far on battery power. The Leaf is expected to get around 100 miles to the charge, while Coda is saying that its 33.8 kWh lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery system with active thermal management will provide "a dependable all-weather range of up to 120 miles and at least 30 percent more usable energy than our leading competitor." Here's some of the not-as-good fine print:

After tax savings, net as low as $37,400. MSRP $44,900, with federal tax savings from 0-$7,500. Excludes tax, title and license. Initially available through online reservation process. Deliveries will commence in December 2010. Subject to change. Limited quantities available in California only. Increased availability in Spring 2011 with full market rollout through 2012. Taxpayer must incur federal tax liability to receive full benefits. Consult your tax professional.

Even reserving the car costs more than it does for the Leaf. Coda is asking for a $499 refundable deposit that can be placed here. The Coda will be available in California later this year and Hawaii in 2011.
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