Will electric-car buyers trade away 25 miles of driving range in exchange for $2,650?

That's what Coda Automotive is betting on. Los Angeles-based electric-vehicle maker said this week that, in addition to offering its standard Coda Sedan battery-electric vehicle, which has a 150-mile range, for $39,900, it will also sell a cheaper version with a 125-mile range for a base price of $37,250. Both versions, which qualify for a $7,500 federal tax credit in addition to more incentives in some states, will start being sold to the American public next month.

Coda announced the less-expensive version as it unveiled its Sedan at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week. The company is likely to start sales at the San Diego's Marvin K. Brown Auto Center, which also sells the Fisker Karma extended-range plug-in.

Coda was originally slated to debut the Sedan during the second quarter of 2010, but the launch has been repeatedly delayed because of quality concerns and management turnover. In November, the company cut the Sedan's base price by $5,000 and said it would offer a 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty on the car's battery in an effort to generate demand.

Coda opened its Los Angeles headquarters in November, about two months after it opened its Coda Experience Center consumer-information store and test-drive center in L.A.'s Century City district. Coda in September also said it raised $147 million in its fourth round of financing to bring its total to more than $300 million since the company's 2009 founding.
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Coda Automotive Announces More Affordable Mileage Range Option for 2012 All-Electric Sedan
Newest US-based EV Company Becomes the First-in-Class Manufacturer to Provide Two Mileage Range Options

DETROIT, Jan. 9, 2012 – CODA Automotive, a leading developer of all-electric vehicles, today announced that the zero-emission CODA sedan will have two mileage range and price options in 2012. In addition to the original model, offering up to a 150-mile range with a MSRP of $39,900, the new 31kWh battery option will provide a driving range of up to 125 miles(i) and will be available at a lower base MSRP of $37,250. After federal tax savings, the base price will be $29,750, and will qualify for additional state tax credits, including a maximum of $2,500 in California and up to $7,500 in 12 other states(ii). The company developed this option for the launch of its first vehicle to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in 2012.

"Since day one, CODA has been committed to deliver affordable and reliable electric vehicles and clean technology to customers," said Phil Murtaugh, CEO, CODA Holdings. "Research shows that the high cost of today's alternative fuel technologies is one of the largest barriers that keep the average driver from purchasing an electric vehicle. Our continuous dedication to identifying affordable solutions and passing the savings on to our customers aligns with our mission of putting an electric vehicle into every garage."

The new 2012 CODA sedan mileage range option will maintain the key features for which the company is known. The first all-electric five-passenger, mid-size sedan with full rear seating and trunk space meets American drivers' daily transportation needs without an ounce of gasoline:

- Best in-class driving range: The 31kWh 2012 CODA mileage option provides real, useful driving range up to 125 miles, nearly four times the average daily commute.

- Best in-class range per dollar: The new option has a base price of $37,250 and can go up to 125 miles on a single charge. Federal and individual state tax savings and credits may bring the price down to $22,250.

- Fast and easy recharging: A 6.6kW onboard charger provides an unbeatable charging speed, providing a 100-mile charge in as few as four hours.

- Dependable mileage range: The active air thermal management system provides constant battery care by keeping the battery pack at its optimum temperature in hot and cold weather conditions(iii).

- The best battery technology: The only electric vehicle sedan is powered by a safe and efficient Lithium-iron Phosphate (LiFePo4) battery pack with an industry leading 10-year, 100,000-mile battery warranty.

The new mileage range option offers CODA's industry leading battery technology with the best range per dollar of any electric vehicle on the market. Deliveries of the first 2012 CODA sedans are anticipated to begin in February 2012.

The CODA 2012 sedan makes its North American International Auto Show debut and today and will be on display through Jan. 22. Test drives are available for media on Jan. 9 and Jan. 10. More information and reservations for the CODA are available at www.codaautomotive.com.

About CODA

Headquartered in Los Angeles, CODA Holdings is a leading developer of advanced Lithium-ion power battery systems comprised of three key business lines: CODA Automotive, CODA EV Propulsion Systems and CODA Energy. Together with its JV partners, CODA is working to reduce dependence on oil and is leading the way to a cleaner future through its electric vehicles and stationary energy storage products. The first consumer product available will be a zero emission four-door, five-passenger EV sedan with a full-size trunk that is designed to meet American drivers' daily transportation needs. For more information on the CODA sedan, visit www.codaautomotive.com.

(i) Actual range and vehicle performance will vary depending on personal driving and charging style, speed, conditions, weather and cargo load.

(ii) After state and federal tax savings, net as low as $22,250. MSRP $37,250, with federal tax savings from 0-$7,500. To help determine rebate eligibility, please visit http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=206871,00.html/. State tax rebates up to $7,500 are available. More information available at http://www.pluginamerica.org/incentives. Excludes tax, delivery, title and license. Initially available through online reservation process. Subject to change.

(iii) When plugged in or driving, the CODA sedan's active thermal management system will heat or cool the battery to maintain battery integrity and consistent driving range in extreme temperatures.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 26 Comments
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm not sure why they're bothering offering this extra trim, honestly. 150 mile or bust. You'll need the extra kWH down the line.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        Well if you need it down the line why not buy it down the line instead of immediately? I'd like to see EVs with expandable battery configurations.
      vazzedup
      • 2 Years Ago
      Like how they did that, gives a value to the battery. Will you pay $100 / mile or $2 / month for each mile more of range?
      Marco Polo
      • 2 Years Ago
      @ With out wishing to be too harsh on this EV and it's very dubious and even sinister backers, the key phrases to remember are: "Actual range and vehicle performance will vary depending on personal driving and charging style, speed, conditions, weather and cargo load". and: "When plugged in or driving, the CODA sedan's active thermal management system will heat or cool the battery to maintain battery integrity and consistent driving range in extreme temperatures." These sound suspiciously like the preparation of excuses for poor quality and disappointing performance. But, perhaps I'm being too cynical, perhaps judgement should be suspended until independent. 'real world' testing is completed.
      Sukairain
      • 2 Years Ago
      This car sounds more and more like a politician insider scam to syphon tax payer money and government subsidy into a company that will never really take off - of course the head investors and board members would have taken home tens of millions each before the company goes broke as planned.
      Aaron Schwarz
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is stupid, the price is outrageous. Who in their right mind is going to pay close to $40K for a Chinese electric car, when they could get a Japanese Nissan Leaf for almost $4K less. Coda must be smoking something!
        EVnerdGene
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Aaron Schwarz
        they are targeting government agency sales splains dat
      • 2 Years Ago
      $37,250 is the exact price of a Nissan Leaf SL!
      PR
      • 2 Years Ago
      Are all the ranges quoted actual EPA ratings? Because I went to http://www.fueleconomy.gov/ and they don't list the Coda at all. Until I see an actual official range number, the numbers they give don't mean anything. If the difference in range turns out to be smaller than that (like just 15-20 miles) then the price difference is harder to justify.
        paulwesterberg
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PR
        I think their range estimates are based on a weaker standard like how nissan said the leaf would have a 100 mile range while the EPA says 73. My guess is that the 31kWh battery pack range is closer to 100 miles and the 36kWh* pack will provide closer to 125 miles. *Coda's spec sheet says 36kWh, but most green car sites quote a pack size of 34kWh.
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @paulwesterberg
          That's what I'm guessing too. I wonder if it is 36 kWh in size, with only 34 kWh usable?
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PR
        Electric ranges should be easy. Develope a city criteria ( start stop), then for highway, run it at 70mph until it dies. Then for ass coverage, type, 'your range may vary.' Then, they should be able to give an accurate estimate on their own, soon as the first car is built.
          jkirkebo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          They would need more metrics than that one then. 70mph is 8mph over the max speed limit over here and 70mph range numbers would then be completely usesless to me. Better publish numbers for 50, 55 and 62mph too.
      Dallas May
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sounds like a heck of a deal. Even if they overstated the range by 20% it still beats everything else out there. It would be good if they can just get it to market. BUT (and a big but) it's still going to be hard for a consumer to justify buying this car when the Nissan Leaf and Mitsu i have Level III chargers. That should be an understood standard feature for all electric cars. There is no excuse for it not being included. Even if it raised the price another $1000, it would should still be included.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dallas May
        Well . . . we are still in need of an SAE standard for fast-charging. I know, Japan has gone with ChadeMo. But I'd rather have something that is more of an approved industry standard instead of just a defacto standard that was created by TEPCO.
          Dallas May
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          And when exactly is that elusive SAE standard going to be implemented on an actual car for sale? It's too late. Companies like EVgo and Ecotality are installing ChadeMo chargers right now. It's already the defacto standard. The first SAE level III charger won't be installed for another 2 years at the earliest, by that time there will be a hundred thousand Leafs and i's on the road. They are just too late to the game, and are only going to cause problems for themselves and the market by trying to turn everything over after years of ChadeMo.
      EVnerdGene
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm gonna pee in my pants
        PR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EVnerdGene
        Not again. That's the third time today.
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PR
          (tears in my eyes). Everyone is very funny today, and two laughs on the same bit! :D
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EVnerdGene
        LOL!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good to know we will have a bit cheaper EV on the market.Cant wait for that. Its a different segment than Nissan Leaf or Mitsubishi iMieV. Find your charging station (profile)
      paulwesterberg
      • 2 Years Ago
      36kWh - 31kWh = 5kWh = $2,650 Based on this the 31kWh pack costs $16,430 And the 36kWh pack costs $19,080
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        $530/KWH . . . not bad. That is half the $1000/KWH garbage many people have been saying for a long time. But there is certainly room for improvement. The optimists look for sub $200/KWH prices but if we get below $300, that would be great.
          brotherkenny4
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Wait until they get the volume up. The price should drop significantly. Independent cost studies for batteries suggest that $350-400 is doable at the current technology level with volume production. Down the road, higher energy electrodes and higher voltage electrolytes should improve that even more(that may be 5-10 years). But even at $400, a lot of people can aford to get into an electric.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 2 Years Ago
      too little too late. price has to be much lower. seems super clueless to me. dead man walking
        EVnerdGene
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        too little too late ? - agreed price has to be much lower ? - some things are priceless (meaning: no matter the price, no one would want one)
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