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CODA Officially Removes The Range Anxiety

CODA is set and it wants you to know it is ready to offer you one of the best electric sedans available. And judging by the hours spent behind its wheels, this electric car will surprise you.


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.


Bigelow (not verified)    September 12, 2012 - 5:20PM

What range would the car have after five years of use on the same battery? And how would the temperature management system cope with minus 20 degrees Minnesota winters? Come test it up here will you?

Nicolas Zart    September 13, 2012 - 11:51AM

In reply to by Bigelow (not verified)

I thought I addressed those points in the article but just in case, they tested the battery pack's thermal management system under extreme temperatures, even for Minnesota :) Even if it takes energy to keep the battery operating at peak efficiency, it will maximum effeciency As far as lifespan, 350,000. 150,000 miles will still give you 90% of its full capacity compared to lithium-ion batteries 20% loss at 90,000 miles. Hope that answers you concerns.

I wrote more in-depth articles esle where. This car is very, very well engineered, probably the most compared to the competition. And yes, LiFePo4 might be more expensive but all things considered, the price is not bad and the chemistry is much more reliable than lithium-ion. This is a reference electric vehicle. Let me kbnow if you have more questions, Nicolas

TheAutoProphet (not verified)    September 14, 2012 - 10:10AM

I had a chance to look on over at the NAIAS. The cars are crappy, fit-and-finish wise. You are basically buying a 2001 Mitsubishi, hacked into an electric car. If range is all that matters, then sure. But if modern safety, tech, convenience, fit and finish, design, and NVH matter to you, then you are much better off in a Leaf, Focus, or Volt for the same or less money.

Nicolas Zart    September 14, 2012 - 10:40AM

In reply to by TheAutoProphet (not verified)

There is room for improvement and no one would disagree with that, especially CODA. They are competing with performance, something Coda has a lot going for it. The next wave of production will have a better fit and finish. The version you saw and this last version have already made a lot of improvements. And last I check, it's still a tad cheaper then the rest, although a few thousand dollars are nothing to celebrate.