The Coda: A Mid-Sized Electric Volt Competitor Made in China

Coda EVAs if bankruptcy wasn't enough, GM has to deal with rapidly multiplying small electric vehicle startups looking to steal attention away from the Volt. The latest competitor is Coda Automotive, a company unveiled Wednesday by Miles Electric mastermind Miles Rubin.

Coda's first product will be an all-electric, full-performance EV built in China by Hafei, a state-owned auto manufacturer. The four-door, five-passenger EV will have a 34 KwH battery pack with cells from Chinese battery maker Lishen. It's top speed is said to be 80 mph, with a range of 90 miles to 120 miles. The car can be fully recharged in six hours using a 220 volt outlet. At $45,000 before tax credits, the Coda EV is comparable to the $40,000 Volt, and it comes with some fancy basic features, including navigation with turn-by-turn directions, a "green screen" to monitor energy efficiency, and an iPod dock.

Instead of building a new car from scratch, the Coda team sped up the production process by taking  an existing gasoline-powered car produced by Hafei and tweaking it to run on electric power. The Hafei car isn't up to U.S. safety standards, so the Coda team is working on that, too. The whole process embodies the type of quick turnaround that larger car companies can only dream about.

The Coda EV will be released this fall in California, with orders taken exclusively through the company Web site.

[Coda Automotive]

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