2012 Coda Sedan Production Starts; 88-Mile Range, 73 MPGe Efficiency

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While the company didn't make its self-imposed deadline for first customer deliveries in February, Coda Automotive has a different reason to celebrate today.

At 10:25 am Pacific time, the first production 2012 Coda Sedan electric car is set to drive off the assembly line at its plant in Benicia, California.

According to the company, the event "kicks off ... delivery of the first shipment of the clean-tech company's electric vehicles to Coda dealers across California, and ultimately to Coda reservation holders from San Francisco to San Diego."

That will undoubtedly be a relief to Coda executives. The company had originally planned to deliver its cars in the fall of 2010, beating the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt to market by a couple of months. That didn't happen.

But now it's real, and last week, the EPA published its range and efficiency ratings for the 2012 Coda Sedan.

The compact four-door sedan's range was rated at 88 miles, and its combined efficiency was deemed to be 73 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent, based on the energy content contained in 1 gallon of gasoline).

Given the large 31-kilowatt-hour battery pack and powerful 100-kilowatt electric motor used in the Coda Sedan--along with the company's claims of a 125-mile range--that's notably less efficient than any of the other battery electric vehicles on sale today in the U.S.:

  • 2012 Mitsubishi 'i,' 112 MPGe, 62 miles:16-kWh battery pack, 66-kW motor
  • 2012 Ford Focus Electric, 105 MPGe, 76 miles: 23-kWh battery pack, 107-kW motor
  • 2012 Nissan Leaf, 99 MPGe, 73 miles: 24-kWh battery pack, 80-kW motor

2012 Coda Sedans on assembly line, Benicia, California, March 2012

2012 Coda Sedans on assembly line, Benicia, California, March 2012

Enlarge Photo

As well as company executives, dignitaries and speakers at the assembly plant are to include Benicia mayor Elizabeth Patterson, and Shaun Del Grande, president of the Del Grande Dealer Group.

We've included photos of this morning's event in this article. Meanwhile, Coda and its U.S. employees can toast a milestone that at times seemed quite far off.

First conceived by the predecessor Miles Automotive, what has become the 2012 Coda Sedan has experienced numerous delays, upgrades, and company strategy changes.

In that respect, it's not unlike fellow electric-car startups Telsa Motors and Fisker Automotive.

We look forward to adding deliveries of the Coda Sedan to our monthly roundup of plug-in car sales, though that may not occur until next month--depending on how quickly the first Codas pass from the factory to their distributors, and thence to customers.

Stay tuned for more on the 2012 Coda Sedan, including driving impressions when we can get behind the wheel.


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Comments (16)
  1. I want all "Normal" electric vehicle makers to succeed, but this one does let me down in both looks and most importantly, range.

  2. How could 88 miles not be enough range? How far do you really need to drive in 1 day? If further than 88 miles you probably should get a diesel or hybrid.

  3. I think there is reason for disappointment here. CODA has been promising an "honest" 100 mile range in this vehicle for years but now we see they have not delivered. The reason for the low range is the very inefficient design. The Focus EV (which is the same weight) gets 105 MPGe whereas the CODA gets only 73 MPGe or 30% worse. If they had Ford's efficiency, the range would be 114 miles.

  4. But the engine on the Coda is freaking huge!

  5. Ummmm ... I presume you mean "motor," not "engine"?

    But in your comment, you mix up power output (kilowatts) with energy capacity (kilowatt-HOURS).

    The Coda's MOTOR has 100 kW of output versus the Leaf's 80-kW and the Focus Electric's 107-kW, so the Ford is slightly more powerful than the Coda.

    In terms of pack size (energy content), however, the Coda has a larger pack (31 kWh) versus 24 kWh for the Leaf and 23 kWh for the Focus Electric. The Mitsubishi is even smaller at 16 kWh.

    But by the ratings, the Coda uses that energy less efficiently than the others. Make sure you understand the physics involved here!

  6. Ah, yeah. He is looking at the gas tank size in thinking it is engine horsepower.

  7. Sure 88 miles may be enough for someone who only uses the car as a commuter car. Many people make trips of up to 100 miles round trip several times a month. Very few people however make trips greater than 150 miles round trip. Also the reason why many EV's look like glorified golf carts is the very mentality that an EV has to be less car than a gasoline car. Give me a practical stylish EV that can drive 2 hours at highway speeds and people will buy it. 88 miles range is a joke especially at $40,000 dollars cost. Tesla Model S is sexy and only $10,000 dollars more than the Coda and offer 160 mile range which is nearly twice the range of the Coda is twice as sexy since it looks like an Aston Martin rather than a generic 4 door economy car.

  8. I agree - If 88 miles / day isn't enough one really should consider something other than an EV. As far as styling goes - it's a bit bland for me but that can be easily fixed with an accent package. At least it doesn't look like something Mr. MaGoo would drive.

  9. The cost of the car is absurd. Is it really still $10,000 more than the Leaf? The styling is plain wrap generic 1999. The quality is unknown. The poor efficiency will really hurt given California's high electric rates. Other than that, I really hope Coda is able to sell well.

  10. Maybe more like $5000 more than the LEAF given that the LEAF now starts at $35,200 and sticker often shows $38K.

  11. The Codas Engine is 100KWh verses Mitsubishi's 16KWh and Ford's 23KWh
    and Nissan's 24KWh. I drove the Nissan LEAF it was awesome! I bet the Coda would be even more fun! Its like a V12 verses 4 and and a 3 cylinders... Only Electric!

  12. Flint; you are confusing Coda 100 KW motor (Leaf is 80 KW) verses the others battery pack capacities of 16, 23 and 24.

    it will be faster but marginally so and the Ford has a bigger motor

  13. Hi Flint I request you to study the specifications of these electric vehicles carefully. It is not Engine....electric car is driven using Motor. What you have mentioned is Battery Capacity and Codas Battery Capicity is 31 KWh it is not 100 KWh as you said.

  14. http://www.mercurynews.com/green-living/ci_20156808


  15. I would buy it as a second car however 88 miles is not enough range to replace a gasoline vehicle as a primary only vehicle. Since most homes are 2 vehicle homes I could see it being used as the daily grocery getter and for shorter trips. I have a cabin 57 miles away from my home and I have family that lives in the twin cities and I routinely drive up to 120 miles round trip several times per month. I seldom go more than 150 miles per round trip so I would like to see ranges at 150 miles or greater. As charging stations become more common place shorter range vehicles will sell better. Less than 100 miles range = commuter car to me. Face it Tesla is the only manufacture of EV's that understands that less than 160 miles range is impractical.

  16. Remember when the computer came out and some one said 160K memory will be all any one is going to need? What if we had that mentality today? Do you think we would have modern computers or smart phones? With only 75 to 88 miles of range you will run the battery down to zero in only 1 1/2 hours at highway speeds. Have to go out of town on an emergency or have family that lives more than 60 miles away then these low driving range Ev's are impractical. I will not settle for less than 120 mile range for sure. Especially since these EV's cost on average $35,000 which is way more than a cheap gas vehicle that will go 300-400 miles on a tankful of gasoline. Only Tesla is making practical range EV's that can replace a gasoline powered car.

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