Coda Automotive, pre-eminent among the startup automakers striving to deliver battery cars to consumers, formally opened its final assembly facility in Benicia, Calif., north of San Francisco this morning.
“Never has the case for what we do been clearer,” said Coda chair Mac Heller.
“This is just the beginning,” Heller said. “Our founding mission at Coda is to put an electric car in every garage in the world.”
“Innovation is driving our economy in California,” said Benicia Mayor Elizabeth Patterson. “This Coda team is innovation on steroids.”
“The county will be one of the earlier purchasers of Coda vehicles,” said Linda Seifert of the Solano County board of supervisors.
30 Partners Worldwide
Coda vehicles, shipped as gliders from China to the Port of Oakland, are trucked to Benicia to have their UQM Technologies drivetrain, Tianjin Lishen lithium ion battery packs and other components installed by employees of Benicia-based Amports, said Amports operations VP Jimmy Triplett. Only a small handful of workers at the facility are Coda employees, he told F&F.
Coda has 30 partner companies in the Americas, Asia and Europe, Heller said. Among the newly announced ones is GE, for WattStation chargers offered for sale by Coda dealers. GE also supplied an array of 16 30-amp chargers arranged in four lanes for charging the new EVs off the line.
The initial car driven out of the factory by supervisor Kevin Field – a Coda employee at Benicia – had a 31-kilowatt-hour battery pack promising 125 miles on a charge. The car is priced at $37,250 before incentives. Leather seats, premium audio and floor mats brought the sticker price of this morning’s ceremonial first vehicle to $39,739 (Bluetooth hands-free cellphone connectivity is standard).
The standard Coda sedan with 36-kwh pack providing 150-mile range starts at $39,900.
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