After a successful launch event in Los Angeles, CODA Automotive showcased its first all-electric car to an eager media. The company has put a lot of work an obvious solution to our pollution and ever increasing petroleum price problems, an electric car, EV. And what a difference this production EV is compared to the prototype I drove 4 years ago.
Technically Speaking. There are a lot of reasons to like the CODA, particularly its engineering. The CODA uses a smart active temperature management system that even monitors humidity levels and keeps the efficiency at top levels, regardless of outside temperature. It sports a 100 kW electric motor, rated at about 133hp coupled to a 31.5 kWh of useable battery. What this translates to is a car that is fun on highways, great to drive in traffic and as we witnessed, a day long driving free of “range anxiety”.
Stated Range vs. Actual Range. If the EPA estimated range of is of 88 miles per charge, the certified UDDS rating is 133.6 miles. That is very serious range. What I do know is that feathered feet will go 125 miles in most situations. With its 6.6kW onboard charger, a recharge takes six hours at level 2, 240 V, perfect for overnight. With a stated 31.5 kWh of actual capacity, the CODA fares much better than its competition. In comparison, GM’s Volt only has 10.4 kWh, the Mitsubishi I MiEV has 13, the Tesla Roadster 53, while the Nissan Leaf has 21.5.
Taking A Bite Out Of The “Range Anxiety” Myth. But if all of these numbers are great, what about using it in one of the toughest driving situation possible, Los Angeles traffic? The 80 miles drive we took through the city was varied and give us a sense Los Angeles city traffic, which included uphill, downhill, highways and even canyon roads where we were able to explore the Coda’s potential. Certainly here Coda takes a chunk out of the whole range anxiety myth. Driving around the city a full day making stops but without recharging certainly will cure you from over-hyped "range anxiety" disorders other carmakers have.
The Coda demonstrated what Thomas Hausch, Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing & Aftersales calls “elasticity”. What we found was that its acceleration at highway speeds surpassed those of over electric cars and in many ways were closer to Tesla’s Roadster. In fact, the Coda’s 0 to 60 mph is achieved in 9.5, but its 30 to 70 is done in a brisk 8.4, that’s 3 seconds faster than its closest competitor.
We reached our final destination after hills, canyons, highways and traffic with 9% of the useable battery left, and up to 13%, if we were to crawl to a recharge station, sort of like the reserve on gasoline tanks. And yes, we also had a lot of fun and pushed the car hard, especially at green light to see the reaction on unsuspecting car drivers next to us. I never tire showing off what an electric motor can do in a car…
All in all, Coda is a no nonsense, straightforward kind of electric car company that won’t over-promise and under deliver. Congratulation CODA for delivering a well engineered electric car that will carry us the distance, at a fairly reasonable price and will cure you of any “range anxiety” side-effects, once and for all.