Coda Automotive revealed its battery electric sedan two weeks ago with a Webinar. On Sunday, I got a short test drive with the company’s president and chief executive, Kevin Czinger, near his home in Greenwich, Conn.
It can be very quiet in the leafy precincts of Greenwich, and the Coda added only a high-pitched whine to the birdsong (and the occasional passing Ferrari) on North Street.
As I wrote in my earlier post, the Coda is based on the Saibao sedan built by the Hafei Automobile Group and powered by a 33.8-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery from the Tianjin Lishen Battery Joint-Stock Company. Both are Chinese companies, but Mr. Czinger said 30 to 35 percent of the car was made from parts from Western suppliers, including BorgWarner and Lear.
Coda Automotive, based in Santa Monica, Calif., plans to have the car on the market in the fall of 2010 (though in California only). The company said it hoped to sell 2,700 in 2010 and then ramp up the following year to a production capacity of 20,000.
About the size of a Honda Civic, the Coda’s generic Chinese styling has been given a cosmetic front and rear updating by the Porsche Design Studio that includes the addition of LEDs. Build quality, paint and panel fit appeared very good, but the interior was bland and basic for a car that will cost $45,000 (minus a $7,500 federal tax credit).
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