Remember MyCar? Manufactured by Virgina-based GreenTech Automotive (GTA), the little-car-that-could is part of a very specialized segment of electric cars called neighborhood electric vehicles, or NEVs. Think golf cart but a little more powerful (most of the time anyhow). The MyCar itself is a two-passenger coupe powered by either a lead acid or lithium-ion battery. With a maximum speed of around 35 mph, it cannot be driven on freeways. You wouldn’t want to, anyway, since NEVs are exempt from car crash tests.
Well, it’s looking like MyCar is going to get a sibling, and a much bigger one at that. GTA has announced it is partnering with Chinese automaker JAC to developed a five-passenger EV sedan. The automaker says this new sedan will be based off the JAC’s Rejoice platform. Power will be provided by – most likely – a 19 kWh lithium-ion battery with a range of over a 100 miles. A full recharge takes between 6-8 hours, which is typical for most EVs here in the states. (GTA has not stated if a fast charger system will be available for this new car.)
States executive VP Marianne McInerney, executive VP of sales and marketing at GTA, “The MyCar, which offers consumers a fun, affordable driving experience, is already seeing strong response, achieving distribution agreements for the sale of more than 30,000 units over the next three years. The JAC-GTA partnership allows us to expand our product line-up with a sedan and allows us to offer the GTA technology with great amenities and room for five passengers while adhering to our philosophy of being price competitive.”
GTA was founded by Terry McAuliffe, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Currently co-founder Charles Wang is president and CEO of the company. MyCar is built entirely in Mississippi by American workers, and reportedly the new sedan will also be assembled in the state, with production to start in late 2013. The company then plans to open another assembly plant dedicated for the sedan. The move, according to GTA, will create an additional 200 new jobs.
How GTA fairs in gaining acceptance of this electric car sedan in the US remains to be seen. Few other niche electric automakers are trying for this at the moment. Of those that have one of the most high profile examples, Coda Automotive out of California, is sadly believed to be on the verge of collapse.