Miles Automotive Introduces Javlon Electric Car
By Bill Moore
You can't help but respect and admire a guy with eight names you can't pronounce and who decides to use Biblical names instead.
That was my introduction to I. Zion Enos, who explained to me that since he is Hawaiian and has eight unpronounceable names, unless you're fluent in Hawaiian beyond "aloha", he chose to use names from the Bible that most closely match the meaning of his name in his native language.
Enos was the point man for Miles Automotive electric car display at the AFVi conference + expo in Anaheim earlier this month. The booth boasted three vehicles, the ZX40 and the OR70, the later of which turns out to be not quite as "highway-capable" as we here at EV World had assumed. It has a top speed of 40 mph (the web site says 35), which puts it in a sort of limbo between a NEV and a fully-compliant, highway vehicle. What that means in terms of its ultimate market niche I didn't explore, but the OR, which stands for "Off Road" suggests it will be a campus cruiser with 10-15 mph higher speed than the NEV-classed 40.
But to be perfectly honest, I was too focused on the sleek, black sedan in the booth to really care. The new, soon-to-be all-electric Javlon had my undivided attention from minute one.
Similar in size to the Toyota Corolla, the Javlon was the surprise of the expo. Built in Tianjin -- the third largest city on mainland China -- the 4/5 passenger, four-door sedan on display, wasn't, in fact, the electric model. Enos explained that just before the expo, his electric version was needed elsewhere, so instead he brought the gasoline model, but he assured EV World that the electric car program is real and that Miles Automotive is aiming to have the car ready for sale - and completely safety compliant to both U.S. and European standards - within 18 months.
As Enos elaborates in the above video interview, which is available exclusively to EV World Premium subscribers, the company is expecting to sell the car for between $28-31,000, including the lithium ion battery that will give it a range of 150 miles on a charge. It will be built in Miles Automotive's first wholly-controlled production facility and clearly represents the first wave of Chinese imports that are likely to steadily carve a niche in North America, competing with U.S., European and Japanese carmakers, not to mention offer competition for Tesla's new "Whitestar" all-electric sedan being developed for manufacture in New Mexico.
It will be very interesting to monitor the unfolding race to market between all the players in what is becoming an international competition to develop, manufacture and sell practical, dependable and above all, affordable electric cars.
Stay tuned, the "horses" are just now leaving the starting gate.
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