Electric Car Maker Coda Goes Bankrupt

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
electric car maker coda goes bankrupt

Electric car startup Coda is the latest in a series of greenm dreams to go down the drain – and it won’t be the last. Coda filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today, writes Reuters, “after selling just 100 of its all-electric sedans, another example of battery-powered vehicles’ failure to break into the mass market.”

Coda launched its electric sedan in California a year ago. Based on a slider made in China, the car delivered a range of 125 miles on a single charge. For $37,250 MSRP, the few buyers received a no-frills car.

Coda had no shortage of money when it started. Coda raised $300 million in equity from backers “including Aeris Capital, Limited Brands Chief Executive Les Wexner, and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson,” Reuters says. Nevertheless, $300 million are not enough to develop a car, let alone a car company.

Coda applied for, but withdrew a request for $334 million in federal loans.

Electric cars are a hard sell, but Coda made its life even tougher: “Coda has two problems,” a leading executive of a Japanese OEM that is heavily invested in electric cars told me last year, “they are trying to sell EVs, and cars made in China.”

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  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on May 01, 2013

    "another example of battery-powered vehicles’ failure to break into the mass market." No, this is another example of a company selling lousy cars failing to break into the mass market. As for pure EVs, the Model S and Leaf are outselling lots of other well-known nameplates. Reality says they'll never be top sellers. But if you consider the Porsche 911 to be a mass market vehicle, then so is the Leaf, which outsold the 911 last year.

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    • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on May 02, 2013

      @Luke42 Worldwide volume in 2012: Volt/Ampera - 31400 Leaf - 26566 911 - 25475 Corvette - 14646

  • CJinSD CJinSD on May 01, 2013

    CODA was my favorite EV start up: They withdrew their request for a $334 million taxpayer subsidy.

  • Electric Vehicles are NEVER going to work without government subsidies. What no one seems to understand is that the cost of ownership is HIGHER because you have to have a place to charge them. Unless you live in an apartment building that will do it - or have a garage, ICE is just so much easier to deal with. EV without an ICE generator are DOOMED TO FAIL - unless heavily subsidized. Unless the government PAYS ME TO BUY ONE, I'd rather just get a shiny new SRT8. I'm not helping the environment either way and I'm not cutting down our use of foreign oil.

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    • @SCE to AUX I had a Vortec V3 Supercharger put in my car and we have a project car that we rebuilt into a Hemi 426. (My uncle owns a garage where he hand-rebuilds Ford Capris/Mustangs and performance upgrades them) There is NOTHING like riding thunder in a MONSTERBLOCK Hemi. Not only are you loud, but you are ridiculously fast when you want to be. Everyone asks you about your ride because many people are so used to FWD imports they have no idea what a "burnout" is or how to do one. I will NEVER stop driving cars like this. And they want me to accept EV's which are virtually SILENT? Nope.

  • Vance Torino Vance Torino on May 01, 2013

    Well, that was dumb start to finish.