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Coda electric car

So long range anxiety with an all-electric CODA

September 12, 2012

In this last part, we take a look at how it feels to drive this electric car that should once and for all change your opinion about how electric cars do work and can more than efficiently 95% of your transportation needs. Here was how the drive went.

Driving The 4 Corners Of Los Angeles . The dashboard is designed to be very similar to a regular car, something that will please many gasoline sedan drivers. The information system tells you what and how much is drawn on the battery so that you can maximize your range.

The 80 miles drive we took through Los Angeles was varied enough to give us a true sense of what to expect from such an electric car in one of the toughest situation, typical Los Angeles city traffic. We even drove our CODA on the Los Angeles river infrastructure where once muscles cars duked it out with Grease and American Graffiti, nullifying any fear of driving in the rain. The highly diversified ride took us uphill, downhill, on highways and even canyon roads where we were able to test the car’s greater potential.

Driving around the city a full day making stops without recharging certainly will cure you from any over hyped range anxiety issues other carmakers have. The CODA behaved very well in the middle of traffic, had no problem getting out of a lane and zip to another one. We even pulled out from a green light full throttle, enough to witness the incredulous stares from other gasoline sedans. On the highway at higher speeds is probably where the CODA impressed us most. Its accelerations from the 60 to 65 mph zone to higher speeds was surprisingly zippy.

In many ways, it reminded us of the Tesla Roadster’s similar capacity of accelerations at that speed and we now understand what Thomas meant by “elasticity”.

CODA Handling . The CODA handled predictably up and down the Malibu canyons where its evenly dispersed weight of 51% front, 49 back made very reassuring. We reached our final destination with 9% of the usable battery left, and up to 13%, if we were to crawl to a recharge station, sort of like the reserve on gasoline tanks. This was after stop and go, uphill downhill, highways and canyon driving for an entire day!

CODA has come a long, long way since I first drove its early test prototype in 2009. While the car felt zippy then, it was only a promising prototype. This final production series is ready for the general public with enough performance and plenty of range for 90% of the US population.

In the end, CODA is certainly positioned as a serious global player. It’s remarkable to see what this group of highly dedicated engineers and car enthusiasts have done in 5 years. CODA has managed to design an electric car with truly impressive performance, that will certainly become a reference point for many. Considering 98% of trips are under 120 miles, the CODA is more than capable of offering this to many US drivers.

It’s trunk space is also truly impressive.

Finally, Coda has taken a big bite out of the whole range anxiety myth with its certified 133.6 miles of range. This was the first I drove an entire day in city traffic, highways and canyon roads without worrying about charge. CODA’s impressive performance is the result of careful engineering and its all-electric car will appeal to many without a steep learning curve.



CODA is a California based electric car and battery company focused on clean technology. CODA’s core technology – advanced Lithium-ion battery systems – will power a new generation of clean vehicles and drastically improve the efficiency and rate of adoption of clean energy sources like wind and solar power. CODA’s 100% electric sedan is the first product to benefit from its advanced technology.

CODA has a global joint-venture to manufacture CODA-designed battery systems with Lishen Power Battery, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of lithium-ion cells and a key supplier to Apple®, Motorola,® Samsung® and Vodafone. Lishen manufactures the battery systems according to CODA design specifications.

The CODA Team . With a well diversified engineering team, bringing in together 1000 years experience, CODA brought in the final touch, automobile car guys. Steven “Mac” Heller, as Executive Chairman with 20 plus years of investment banking experience.

Phil Murtaugh . joined in as Chief Executive Officer bringing in 30n years of General Motors experience, as well as Shanghai GM; EVP, International Operations, for SAIC and CEO, Asia Operations for Chrysler.

Paul Ritchie, SVP Engineering brings over 40 years of experience from the shop floor to executive positions in client and consulting, with Paul Ritchie Consulting with CODA and GM as clients and an impressive presidency and CEO positions at Porsche Motorsports NA, as well as executive director of engineering operations for Magna Steyr NA. Paul began his career as a design engineer working for British Aerospace, and also worked at Ford Motor Company, and then worked at Hawtal Whiting and Porsche Engineering Services.

Thomas Hausch, SVP Sales, Marketing . and Aftersales is esponsible for the global launch of numerous cars, brands and networks with 20 plus years experience, as well as serving as VP Europe, Middle East Africa for Chrysler Group, LLC. and as VP of international sales and executive director of international sales and marketing for Chrysler Group and DaimlerChrysler. As you can see, most of the team now has extensive global automobile experience, and even professionally raced cars.


The all-electric CODA 2012 sedan is a four-door, five-passenger battery electric vehicle (BEV) capable of providing a dependable, best-in-class all-season range of up to 125 miles on a single chargei.

The zero-emission CODA comes equipped with numerous standard features including: AM/FM/CD radio with MP3; iPod®, iPhone® and USB connectivity; 7-inch color touch-screen featuring a turn-by-turn navigation system that monitors driving efficiency; Bluetooth® hands-free phone system; air conditioning; power windows; power door locks; 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.

Standard safety equipment includes: Anti-Lock Braking System, Electronic Stability Control with Traction Control, six airbags, and child protection locks.


All-electric, four-door, five-passenger sedan

Zero tailpipe emissions

A fully charged CODA goes up to 125 miles on a single charge Electronically limited top speed of 85 mph

Recharge time in about 6 hours from a 240V (30A) charger


333V, 31 kWh usable capacity (total rating of 33 kWh) lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery system Active Thermal Management System (ATSM) that uses heated and cooled airflow

DC: DC converter producing 2.2 kW @ 13V

6.6 kW / 240VAC input or 1.3 kW / 110 VAC input on-board charger

Batteries located under the seats/floor for optimum weight distribution, improved safety and performance — more —


Electric motor producing 100 kW/134 horsepower and best-in-class 300 nm/221 lb.-ft. of torque Single-speed gear-reduction transmission


Four-wheel independent suspension with front struts and rear multilink Electronically-assisted rack and pinion power steering

17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 205/45 R17 all season tires


Coda electric car

Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Traction Control (TCS) Six standard air bags:

· Advanced dual-stage front driver and passenger airbags

· Front seat-mounted side impact air bags

· Roof-mounted side-curtain air bags

· Front seat belts with force limiters and pre-tensioners Collapsible steering column

· LATCH child restraints

· Tire Pressure Monitoring System


Overall Length: 176.4 inches

Overall Width: 67.2 inches

Overall Height: 58.0 inches

Wheelbase: 102.4 inches

Headroom (front/rear): 35.5/31.7 inches Shoulder Room (front/rear): 53.0/52.4 inches Legroom (front/rear): 41.3/30.3 inches

Trunk Space: 14.1 cubic ft. Curb Weight: 3,670 lbs.


Battery Limited Warranty: 10-year / 100,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty: 5-year / 60,000-mile New Vehicle Limited Warranty: 3-year / 36,000-mile


CODA controls all elements of design, manufacturing and engineering work internally. The CODA’s components and subsystems are sourced from all over the world. The majority of the vehicle’s key electric drive components are manufactured in the United States.

The body/chassis glider is manufactured at an existing facility the company leases and operates in Harbin, China, where CODA engineers maintain strict control over quality and safety. The rolling gliders are then shipped to Benicia, Northern California, where the key electric drive components – including the battery system – are installed, and complete vehicle assembly, final inspection and quality assurance processes are performed.

i Actual range and vehicle performance will vary depending on personal driving style and charging method, speed, conditions, weather and cargo load.`

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