Electric-Car Startup Coda Automotive Files For Bankruptcy

Follow Antony

2012 Coda Sedan

2012 Coda Sedan

Enlarge Photo

Coda Automotive has become the latest casualty of the cut-throat electric car industry, today filing for bankruptcy.

The company will dissolve the carmaking business and instead put its efforts into Coda Energy, a stationary battery storage business it started in 2011.

According to The Detroit News, Coda CEO Phil Murtaugh said in a statement, "After concluding a comprehensive review of our strategic options, the board of directors, management team and senior lending group have concluded that focusing on the company's energy storage business presents the best opportunity moving forward.

"We believe the restructuring process that we have entered into today will enable the company to complete a sale and confirm a plan that maximizes the value of its assets, serving the best interests of our stakeholders."

The restructuring means the death of the 2012 Coda Sedan, which suffered delays throughout its conception before finally going on sale in July 2012.

OUR ASSESSMENT: 2012 Coda Sedan: First Drive

Like similarly ailing electric automaker Fisker Automotive and its Karma range-extended electric car, the Sedan's transition onto the market was anything but smooth.

First, it made a poor showing in track testing by Inside Line. It then scored only two stars in NHTSA frontal crash testing.

December saw 15 percent of Coda's workforce laid off, and more went in January--before the company slashed prices of its Sedan to only $24,995 a week or so later.

Coda Holdings, the company's parent, is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Delaware. An affiliate of the company, Fortress Investment Group, is leading a consortium of lenders to provide debtor-in-possession financing, allowing the energy side of the business to remain unaffected throughout proceedings.

Coda Energy uses the same core technology as that found in the electric Sedan--an aspect Coda has long claimed to be ahead of the curve in terms of energy storage and thermal management.

It's a shame that we'll not now get to see what Coda could come up with for its proposed second electric vehicle, said to be planned for 2014.

But with reportedly only 100 or so Coda Sedans sold, the company has faced the same issues as so many before it--financials aside, it was simply producing a product that few wanted to buy.


Follow GreenCarReports on Facebook and Twitter.

Follow Us

Comments (12)
  1. So is Tesla the only EV startup left in the game.

    Green Vehicles
    Smith Electric

    Anyone else?

  2. Detroit Electric. They're still floating around, but their future seems dubious. They're supposed to come out with a Lotus conversion by the middle of this year?

  3. @ John Briggs, There is still Venturi and Rimac.

  4. That's just upsetting. I think the Coda is the opposite and similar to the Fisker Karma. The Karma's regarded as beautiful skin deep, while the Coda is beautiful in the core regarding of battery performance, but looks are nothing but dated, even for a second hand car.
    Tesla with its Model S is beautiful in both packages and so makes it desirable.
    Aptera would've made it too if development for motorcycles or three wheeled cars/motorcycles could receive the DoE loans.

  5. Forget the dated looks... I think way too much focus is on looks. Coda didn't make a car anyone wanted because of ride, options, handling, noise and a host of other reasons. Swoopy looks are great for show cars. Driving grandma to her doctor appointment works better in a car she can actually get in and out of. Bottom line is this thing didn't even have cruise control and that's just not going to sell.

  6. Looks like a 1994 Galant or something. Ok swoopy looks are for car shows, but c'mon put a little effort into it.

  7. Though it may have been easy to see coming, Coda's demise is still sad. Hopefully they will do well in the energy storage business. Maybe one day we'll see Coda energy storage units available at home improvement stores.

  8. I saw this car and was going to get a test drive when they were having problems. Horrible customer service. Car itself is ^>~?*}^>##%{ and over priced for what you get. Would not have bought it anyway. However the battery and range looks great. Someone should snap up the battery and frame and redesign a nicer car around it. Gotta be flashier and safer to get my $$$. Probably going to get the Leaf anyway.

  9. It is good that a substandard product is off the market. But the downside for consumers is the fact that we will have fewer choices and less competition...

  10. There will be quite a few nationwide choices and competition within the next 2-4 years. The $30K Beemer is coming! Who needs Coda - good riddance...

  11. I agree. CODA and Fisker were the two models that keep giving Plugins bad reps... It is good that both of them are gone in the same qtr that Tesla is turning a profit. But I still wish there are more choices though, especially lower priced ones. The 2013 Leaf proves that there is a huge demand in the lower priced plugin models.

  12. @Jan: That BMW i3 is not going to carry a base price anywhere near $30,000 ...

Commenting is closed for old articles.

Get FREE Dealer Quotes

From dealers near you

Find Green Cars


© 2015 Green Car Reports. All Rights Reserved. Green Car Reports is published by High Gear Media. Send us feedback. Stock photography by izmo, Inc.