Great Wall and CODA are pointing to sub-$15,000 priced vehicles being produced.
The world's cheapest cars could come to Australia.
The cars may arrive here wearing Great Wall badges as part of a new partnership between the US and China.
The American company CODA Holdings has just joined forces with Great Wall, bringing the electric expertise that has already seen it develop an affordable - but basic and quality challenged - electric car for sales in the US.
The two companies are talking about a price that matches the cheapest internal combustion cars, pointing to a sub-$15,000 sticker. CODA has made solid ground in recent years with development of its advanced battery systems, but the new deal is a big breakthrough for the California-based technology company.
It has now forged a partnership with Great Wall that's intended to produce a plug-in battery vehicle that's the cheapest in the world and priced well below everything from the Smart ForTwo ED and $51,500 Nissan Leaf to the Mitsubishi iMieEV that's 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," Wei Jianjun, chairman of Great Wall Motors, says. "We envision a long-term, successful relationship with CODA, creating industry-leading EVs for our generation and beyond."
"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," Phil Murtaugh, CEO of CODA Holdings, says.
"We're excited to work with Great Wall Motors to develop the second product in Codas portfolio, to bring another solution to a global problem and together make high-quality clean technology accessible. Ultimately, this will enable drivers worldwide to go electric affordably and support our mission of putting an EV in everyone's garage."
Despite the big talk, CODA has so far failed to excite much interest in its plain-James EV, despite the growing following for Tesla cars in the USA off the back of its Lotus Elise-based sports car and the all-new Model S. Tesla promises it will build 5000 of the Model S, which it describes as "the world's first premium electric sedan" before the end of this year and 20,000 through 2013.
"In 2009, we set out to build the most innovative car of the 21st century, and since then have dedicated ourselves to developing and testing Model S to ensure that under any situation, Model S never disappoints," Elon Musk, Tesla Motors co-founder and CEO, says.