In today's newspaper was an article (written by Dana Hull of Mercurynews.com) about the Coda sedan, which started rolling off their assembly line in Benicia, CA, yesterday.
The Coda is a joint venture with Chinese battery maker Lishen, which makes the chassis and drive system and ships the parts to Benicia for final assembly and safety and quality inspection at their plant. Coda applied for a Federal loan from the DOE's Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program, but after two years received no response and they moved forward without any financing help from the Feds (that might be a good sign for their success). Coda has 800 employees worldwide and about 25 are working at their assembly plant in Benicia. Estimates are that Coda will make less than 5000 vehicles this year.
Twice in the article it mentions that the Coda, which sells for $37,250, is legible for the $7,500 federal tax rebate. Plus a $2,500 rebate from the state of CA. But my understanding is that the federal rebate went by-by as of this year. (Am I wrong?)
The Coda's battery comes with a 10-year, 100K mile warranty and an “EPA-certified” range of 88 miles per charge. Coda says the car can travel up to 125 miles per charge in “optimal driving conditions”.
Coda Silicon Valley will open on Stevens Creek Boulevard in San Jose, CA, on Friday. The company plans to open a Coda “Experience Center”, a store and showroom where consumers can learn more about electric vehicles, at the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, in the spring. It expects to roll out the vehicles nationwide before tackling markets in Europe and eventually China.
The article goes on to say that Consumer Reports was testing a $107,850 Fisker Karma last week and they announced that the Karma broke down during their testing and had to be hauled away in a flatbed tow truck. They were quoted as saying: “We buy about 80 cars a year and this was the first time in memory that we have had a car that was undriveable before it has finished our check-in process”. Thomas Hausch, Coda's Senior Vice President, commented that “If our competitors aren't doing well, it hurts us (too). It threatens the confidence of the nonexpert consumer.”