What happens when a publicity photo-shoot goes on the hunt for the perfect image but doesn't notice the devil in the details?
Over the weekend, our sister site GreenCarReports was privileged to publish the first-ever official photographs of the production version of the 2011 Coda Sedan.
As well as an interesting bevy of interior shots showing the dramatic two-tone seats, integrated touchscreen GPS, and ergonomic controls, we were treated to some exterior shots showing the final tweaks to the Coda Sedan’s body and grille.
But while we love the new color options, and are really excited to get our hands on one for a test drive, we had to chuckle at one of the photos, containing something that Coda’s ad agency should have spotted.
And we’re pretty sure that some of the hardened EV fans out there spotted it too.
In a street scene, an all-white 2011 Coda Sedan is parked up next to an electric vehicle charging station. It’s the money shot for every electric car. A warm and fuzzy photograph depicting the joys of parking up and charging whenever you need to.
But something is wrong. If the photograph was real and not staged, that Coda’s driver would be pretty frustrated. Why?
The charging station in question is a 10-year-old MagnaCharge Inductive charge station, as used by GM’s EV1 and Toyota’s RAV4 EV, to name two.
Inductive chargers use a paddle inserted into a slot on the vehicle to complete the charging circuit electromagnetically, rather than the conductive, mechanical connection used on all of today’s EVs.
In every video and photograph we’ve seen thus far from Coda, the automaker has featured the more contemporary and much more flexible J1772 connector. It's the one used on the 2011 Nissan Leaf, 2011 Chevrolet Volt, and most if not all upcoming plug-in vehicles.
To implement the MagnaCharge standard in parallel with the J1772 connector would be overkill. And to choose a charging technology that, while standard 10 years ago, is now slowly going out of fashion would be a strange move indeed on the part of Coda.
We think there’s a more logical explanation: No one told the photographer that not all electric chargers are created the same. And no one in Coda's marketing department noticed.
UPDATE: We received an e-mail response last night from Daryll Harrison Jr. in Coda's marketing department. It said in part:
We are definitely aware that the charger was not J1772 equipped. The image was not taken to mislead, nor imply that it could be used with our car. As you know, many images make their way to the cutting room floor before they are formerly published. Unfortunately, this image made its way out.