Finally emerging from the shadows of the gas guzzling Los Angeles lifestyle, the first legitimate electric vehicle was unveiled in Santa Monica last Wednesday. Headquartered in Santa Monica, Coda Automotive is a new manufacturer and distributor of America’s first realistic attempt to provide electric vehicles to the mainstream consumer. The vehicle, the Coda Sedan, offers an all-electric, zero-emissions highway capable vehicle. Coda has gone to great lengths to separate itself from previous failed attempts with electric vehicles, developing a far greater range, quicker charging battery, and a much more mainstream design.
The pros and cons of owning an electric vehicle have always been the greatest force holding back its mainstream acceptance. When the Coda sedan was revealed, the most pressing questions associated with electric vehicles were answered immediately. Rather than the 40-60 mile range incorporated into electric vehicles of the past, the Coda will have a range of up to 120 miles. Charging time for the vehicle has also been drastically reduced. The car can be fully charged in about five hours, and a 40-60% charge can be done in as little as twenty minutes.
One of the main selling points is the low cost of charging the vehicle. Based on the average night time cost of electricity in the United States, the sedan can be fully charged for less than three dollars. At that rate, the vehicle can travel almost 250 miles for just under six dollars. This makes the Coda the first vehicle of its kind to have a reasonable range, a reasonable charge time, and a reasonable shot at cracking the gas market with an electric vehicle. The sedan has an electric governor, limiting its top speed to 80 miles an hour. It has a 134 hp engine that is surprisingly quick and uses no transmission, actually lowering future maintenance costs (think of a golf cart engine that keeps getting faster and faster). The vehicle is equipped with a 36,000 mile complete warranty, and a 100,000 mile battery warranty. The car has also passed numerous crash and safety tests, either conforming or exceeding U.S. NHTSA standards.
The price of the first wave of vehicles released will be listed at just under 45,000 thousand, but with the passage of federal legislation in the fall of 2008, customers will be eligible to receive a $7500 dollar tax credit for purchasing a zero emissions vehicle. There may also be added state incentives for further rebates.
The Coda Sedan is the first electric vehicle that is truly marketable to the mainstream of America. It comes with many of the amenities consumers expect with the new vehicles of today. Navigation, Sirius satellite radio, embedded Bluetooth system, MP3 input, anti-lock brakes and advanced airbag systems with power everything all come standard. The vehicle is definitely the first of its kind, combining the amenities of a gasoline vehicle with the benefits of the electric model. It is this approach that should make Coda the first successful automaker of its kind. For more information on Coda and its vehicles, visit www.codaautomotive.com.