LOS ANGELES -- Coda Automotive Inc. will begin delivering the first of its electric compact sedans in December priced at $44,900 before federal and state incentives.
With federal incentives, the starting price will be $37,400, and with California state incentives, the price could be as low as $32,400.
Coda will initially rely on 600-square-foot company-owned satellite stores located in Los Angeles and San Francisco shopping malls to market the vehicle, Coda CEO Kevin Czinger said. Since the stores are factory-owned, no delivery or destination charges are expected.
A flagship store in Santa Monica -- where Coda is based -- is scheduled to open in spring 2011, with 17 retail locations open by the end of 2011. Czinger predicted the company will sell 14,000 vehicles by the end of 2011.
When asked how the Coda will compete against the much-cheaper Nissan Leaf, Czinger said: “Price is not a decisive factor in the sale of electric cars. I think the 40 percent additional range, and 40 percent additional battery energy with all-season thermal management, is the decisive factor.”
Based on aggressive driving tests, Czinger said the car has a range of 90 to 120 miles, and under less aggressive driving, the range can be extended to 120-130 miles. The Coda takes about six hours to recharge from empty with a 220-volt recharging system. Czinger said the Coda has the same crash-safety ratings as a BMW 3-series sedan.
As for service, customers will contact a Coda “car valet” if there is a problem, although third-party service and warranty providers will handle actual repairs. The installation of home-recharging units will be handled by EV Connect and Sears technicians.
The Coda is mostly assembled in China by Changan-Hafei, while final assembly -- including installation of the energy storage system -- is performed in Benicia, Calif.
Key suppliers include BorgWarner Inc. for the transaxle, Lear Corp. for the charger, UQM for the motor and motor-controller and Delphi Holding LLP for the AC/DC converter. LIO Energy Systems of Tianjin, China, is assembling the electric battery pack, while the battery pack’s thermal management system was engineered by Mitsubishi Electric.