CODA EV: $44,900 For An Electrified Hafei Saibao

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

As with most EVs, we knew about the CODA EV for a long time before a price was ever trotted out (the car was first mooted as the Miles XS500, and was scheduled for a 2009 launch before reality struck). And even before we knew the price, we reckoned that a Chinese-built sedan with Chinese battery cells thrown into it in Southern California would face its fair share of challenges. Now that the CODA EV has been priced at $44,900 (full specs here), we’re certain of it. Of course, Federal tax breaks bring the CODA down to $37,400, and a further California incentive could bring it as low as $32,400, or about $400 less than a Nissan Leaf… before tax breaks. Why would anyone pay $12,000 more for a Chinese fly-by-night when they could have a Nissan? CODA CEO Kevin Czinger tells Automotive News [sub] that

Price is not a decisive factor in the sale of electric cars. I think the 40 percent additional range, and 40 percent additional battery energy with all-season thermal management, is the decisive factorUnfortunately, his basic premise is wrong. A Financial Times [sub]/Neilsen poll shows that three quarters of American consumers would buy an EV, but that 65 percent would only buy one if it cost the same as a gas car. Meanwhile, $45k still buys a lot of gas-powered car, and most major OEMs will have EVs on the market soon. We give CODA about two years .
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  • Flipper Flipper on Sep 21, 2010

    Did they start W/ a last generation Elantra?

  • OhMyGoat OhMyGoat on Sep 21, 2010

    It's sounding like final assembly of these things will take place in a my hometown of Benicia, CA (that's Benicia with an "i") on property owned by Amports where they have several hundred acres, and operates as a major port for auto shipments from Asia. Guess they expect to be there for at least 3 years. We'll see.

  • Gasser Gasser on Sep 21, 2010

    I actually saw one of these yesterday, driving along on the streets of Santa Monica, California. I couldn't figure out what it was, even after I saw "Coda" on the car. Judging from the indecision and weaving, I would guess that it was on a test drive. The Coda seemed like a perfectly pleasant $14,000 car. I can't believe that this brand will get enough traction to stay in business for the long term. Anyone buying (as opposed to leasing) a Coda, had better mentally write off his total investment in 3 to 5 years.

  • Steven02 Steven02 on Sep 22, 2010

    Biggest swing and a miss is the looks on this thing. It looks like an early 1990's car. At 44k, no one will want it. The battery range is impressive. I am glad to see that they went with a thermal management system. I know the Leaf didn't, but the Volt did, this did, and so did the EV Fiesta that is supposed to be coming out. I am thinking Nissan made a mistake here with the Leaf. Short living batteries on these cars is likely going to be a problem on the Leaf.