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Coda Automotive makes first fleet sale of electric car for AEP Ohio's smart grid testing

Coda Automotive announces first sale of the company's electric car to a fleet owner, fulfilling a long-term goal in the area of fleet sales, which the company points out accounts for 22 percent of auto sales in the US.

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Electric car manufacturer, Coda Automotive, announced today the first sale of the company's all-electric car to a fleet owner. The sale (and delivery) was made to AEP Ohio, a unit of All Electric Power.

AEP Ohio, which serves nearly 1.5 million customers in Ohio and the West Virginia panhandle, purchased the Coda all-electric car after testing a pre-production vehicle in 2011.

“AEP is an ideal first fleet partner and we’re thrilled to work with them,” said Bill Beasley, vice president of automotive sales, CODA Automotive. “Not only do they provide electricity to millions of Americans, but their large fleet has many potential applications for electric vehicles, which could save their company money on rising fuel costs. We see this as a long-lasting relationship and look forward to helping AEP’s fleet become a leader in sustainability.”

The purchase is part of an AEP demonstration project to learn more about electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. AEP's gridSMART project is that companies Smart Grid effort. A smart meter deployment was made in 2010, and now the company is assessing how electric vehicles and smart appliances will impact the electric grid. The project is meant to eventually demonstrate to AEP's customer base the benefits of full scale smart grid deployment.

“We’re proud to incorporate the all-electric CODA into our fleet and to be CODA’s first fleet customer,” said Karen Sloneker, project director, AEP Ohio gridSMART Demonstration Project. “We chose the CODA because its active thermal management system helps to provide a dependable range for our cars. We’re excited to learn more about how the CODA and other electric vehicles perform in a variety of applications through our gridSMART® Demonstration Project, located in the northeastern part of Central Ohio. ”

Coda has long had an eye on fleet sales, and notes that 22 percent of all automobile sales in the US are to fleets. With rising fuel prices the company says electric car adoption among fleet owners is rising, primarily because of the fuel savings potential. Fleets can more quickly adopt time of use charging, to save even more money on fuel, as well as leverage energy storage systems, which is the product line made by Coda Automotive's sister company, Coda Energy.

In November 2010, Coda announced deals with both Hertz and Enterprise to provide electric cars for both companies to place in their respective rental fleets.

Coda is a Southern California based company that manufactures an electric car in partnership with a Chinese automaker. Engineless cars are shipped to an assembly facility in Benicia CA for assembly and test. The company rolled its first cars off the assembly line in March 2012, and made first deliveries to retail customers in mid-March. In April the company announced a deal with another Chinese automaker, to jointly develop an inexpensive affordable electric car, targeting delivery in mid-2014.

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