1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Whats your opinion of the Coda electric car?

Post in 'The Green Room' started by Jags, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    15,256
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    Since we already have a debate on the Chevy Volt, I ran across the Coda. The body and battery is shipped from china. Its electric drive motor comes from Colorado. Its final assembly is in California - thus giving it the ability to be considered "built in the USA" which will now allow the tax credit of $7500 to apply to its purchase.

    88 mile range - electric only
    73 MPGE
    $37,250

    I will apologize to Craig and crew up front for posting a foxnews report, but it was the best written that I could find. There are others, but I did not think they were as informative as this one.
    http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2012...car-production-in-california/?intcmp=features

    So - is this the next best thing since sliced bread? Should the tax break apply to this machine? Does the extended range over the electric Volt make it more desirable?

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,599
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    The reviews I read on the Chinese models of Coda confirmed decent mileage, but not as detailed at say the Leaf. It takes time to perfect a good electric car. One thing I am fussy about is electric steering. Only a few mfgs. get it right. If the Coda sold for $20K I would be interested. But at $40K, I don't think so. I'm watching the next gen, the Escort in particular. Also eager to see the new Subaru (4wd electric?) and Mitsubishi offerings. This pack is just starting to warm up. There should be some good competition here in the next couple years.

    Here's a preproduction Coda review:
    http://articles.latimes.com/2011/sep/08/business/la-fi-autos-coda-sedan-review-20110908
  3. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,726
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    It seems the whole premise of this setup is to extract $7500 from the american taxpayer to pay for what amounts to an "imported car" just because the "final" assembly is done in the US. NO way should we be subsidizing the competition including the leaf. They need to set parameters, such as 80% domestic content before qualifying for rebates. Or at least charge a 25% import duty on the parts ,same as china does,that would be a more level playing field.
  4. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,663
    Loc:
    Eastern MA
    I just saw this one too - I'm excited to see more competition in the electric car market in general, no matter where it comes from.

    The pictures look like a nice vehicle. Stats on range seem to be good, the greater the range the better, but it does seem that it is coming at a cost on this model as it is less "energy efficient" getting fewer miles/kwh on average. Perhaps it is a bit heavier.

    As to the assembly here to get the tax credit - note that at least they are buying batteries from Colorado, that has to count for something. But all in all, as much as I am in favor of "buy American" I do believe we should encourage all companies to be competitive. Would be nice of course to have all countries not manipulate currencies etc so that things would be a level playing field, but then one could argue the tax credit is also an unfair subsidy benefiting on point of origin over another too... so this quickly goes down hill and lands us into the ash can of political discussions.

    I figure that with 'free' electric energy over 100K miles I could save about $12K in gas at today's gas prices... more as gas goes up, but electric isn't free so go figure your own assumptions there. But take that as a maximum savings. If I have to buy a batter in 100K miles for big $'s that comes out of that savings - it seems that it will very soon eat up most if not all of that $ savings. Battery replacement is an issue for me.

    I want to drive an electric car. I have excess solar production from my panels that should provide for at least 60-75% of my driving needs so it is 'clean' power. However, I am now willing to pay $40K for a car that has the same functionality as a $15K gas car when I'm going to have to buy a new battery pack in 5-8 years for $10K - that is like having to buy a used car at that point eh? I'm looking for the cost of the car to fall to the <$30K range and some more reasonable battery replacement cost to be on the horizon.
  5. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,830
    Loc:
    Commonwealth Of Massachussetts
    In the Coda's favor; vanilla styling. Also making the batteries part of the floor. The Volt looses some valuable interior space to batteries.
    Against: price. Plain jane should be a little cheaper IMHO.
    Seasoned Oak likes this.
  6. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,726
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    Way back in 2000 toyota (and im NOT a toyota fan) had a perfectly good EV that went 120 miles on large format NIMH Batteries. 80 miles on lead acid as well. Many are still on the road today.I believe they sold for around $30000 That is until Chevron bought the patent for the batteries and squashed the extra mileage margin of the NIMH battery.You would think 12 years later they could at least as well on price as well as miles per charge.
  7. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,726
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    Im not against a wide selection in electric cars, i glad were seeing the majority of automakers coming out with an electrics even though the higher cost seems to be slowing transition to this new form of propulsion. i just dont think its wise to finance your competition with rebates. no one else does it.
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,599
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I've read that Toyota is working with Tesla to bring back the RAV 4 electric with a better yet battery pack. It's supposed to go on sale this year.
    http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13746_7-20080747-48/toyota-confirms-electric-rav4-for-2012/
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,599
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    It should be, but it won't. My prediction is that at $45K this baby is not going to sell well.
    Seasoned Oak likes this.
  10. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,099
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    Tesla could very well end up being the Apple of electric cars. No other company is betting so much nor has delivered stuff that works like Tesla has.
    At 60K or so, the Model S will sell well enough to bring electric cars into the mainstream. As most of you know, it's all about volume - if a million model S cars could be produced each year, they'd probably be 30K...and that is what Tesla is going for.

    I always have respect for companies that do things right.......not an evolution, but a revolution. They will all get there eventually, but it would be nice to see the leapfrog to 200+ mile range and cars that look like cars.
    [​IMG]
    Dune likes this.
  11. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2,030
    Loc:
    Principality of Pontinha
    If they can sell a million of them they won't get any cheaper, but you can bet yer buttons everybody and their mother will start to copycat and that will drive down the cost a lot. Tesla has always impressed me too. Is that 60k before rebates?
  12. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,099
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    Looks like they are sold out....but, yeah, they start at about 50K and go up for bigger battery packs.
    We'll have to reserve the X instead.
    http://www.teslamotors.com/modelx/

    0-60 in 5 seconds.
  13. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,099
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    From what I have read and heard, they will have such advances in software and patents that copying will not be an option. Even with hybrids, Toyota ends up licensing the tech to most of the other car companies....it's too complex to develop from scratch, even for big car companies.
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,599
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    For the price that Teslas are currently selling, I think their sales will be in the thousands at best. I will be on my last car before they hit a million.
  15. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2,030
    Loc:
    Principality of Pontinha
    I dunno. They could be on to something.

    1. They have no dealer structure. That's not a bad thing if you're making the switch to mail-order just in time inventory. You also have to figure if the car doesn't break you don't need someone to fix it. I'm sure stuff will come up and they will need channel partners but dealers are not necessary. You also won't need a lot of parts with an electric car. I bet most things can/will be fixed before you even know there's something wrong with them (wireless uplink). Besides, car companies mostly make money on financing and service. The car they sell is just the IV they use to get into your wallet.
    2. They bought (Toyota pretty much gave it to them) the NUMMI plant in Palo Alto. 88 football fields worth of it. They've got a 1/2 billion loan to retool the plant. They've got room to grow, but what's even more impressive is they're building cars with a total of about 600 people. Even if they ramp up to 10x that number to keep up with demand that's still almost nothing compared to what other car manufacturers need to produce. ROBOTS!
    3. Pure electric. No fuddling around with other design to get us "over the hump". Their model S can seat 5, but has an option for 6+7 seats(rear facing child). Try that in a Leaf. The battery pack hangs from the car, giving it great low center of gravity and doesn't take up interior room. There's a front and rear trunk.
    4. 50k for 170 miles, fast charge to 80% in 45 minutes, and the car comes WITH the charger (unlike the leaf, which you have to buy). After tax rebates/incentives you're looking at 40k for a car you can charge out of the box and drive for 3 hours before you have to plug it in again. It looks good, its cool, and it will get you and your family of four out and around. Maybe not to Wally World, but I could go from Boston + back no problem. That's more than good enough for a commuter car.

    5. And, as Webbie put it: 0-60 in 5 seconds. That's cake and eating it too. 40k for a family sports car? Oh yes I would.
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,599
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Are you signed up for one yet?
  17. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,099
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    Of course, I agree....just saying that the reason IC cars are so reasonable is that millions are made.....

    Still, Tesla could become the ipad of electric cars...that is, something that gathers 90% of the market. It's possible...
  18. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2,030
    Loc:
    Principality of Pontinha
    Ok, you caught me. I'm the kind of poser who will wait till the affordable, proven in the Winter electric car comes out. A couple of things currently keeping me out of the market for an electric car (or any car for that matter) are:

    1.) I drive a company vehicle. Its a service van.
    2.) My personal car is a 1 ton truck, is paid for, and has another 10 years unless I roll it.
    3.) I've never owned a sports car in my life (Honda civics don't count as sports cars after high school). All my extra space/money is devoted to tools, and honestly if I had 40k to spend on a non-daily driver it would be a Bobcat 331 w/ thumb.
    4.) My wife's car has 50k miles on it and is paid for.

    In another 5 years, then YES my daughter will be driving and my wife will be looking for a new car. She's a good candidate, but I will always have/need the beat up truck on the weekends.
  19. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,599
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I certainly hope not. Competition is good. Besides, that might mean all cars would eventually be built in China like the iPad? And that the latest model has all the bells and whistles, but overheats the batteries? :confused:;) j/k

    FWIW, that big shiny flat panel on the X is a deal killer for me. I hate primary control being on a touch surface in a vehicle. Our Prius has the climate controls set up that way and I find it distractingly dangerous. And having a large hard surface like that has to present a serious safety issue in a collision. Hopefully it is just a design idea and will not make it into production.

    PS: Good to see the old smilies back. Can we add the ºF and ºC symbols?
  20. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,099
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    I can add those symbols or otherwise figure out how to do it in this editor....

    My comparison with the ipad, etc. is more that only a very few companies really bet the farm on R&D. IMHO, cars like the Leaf are not All They Can Be. They are being designed and built with a "low risk" type of environment (that is, the company can eat the loss).....

    Tesla is betting the farm and going for it. Maybe other companies are doing this, but that's hard to see if Toyota is partnering with Tesla! I think this stuff is more complicated than we suspect.

    I listened to a podcast of the Tesla guy.....it was from a few years back and is on the Stanford Thought Leaders iTunes list. Impressive to say the least. In my experience, many companies today lack the risk taking gene.....better to be safe than sorry is the corporate mantra. That tends to slow innovation.
    It often takes a fresh approach to get the best goods out the door.

    I've already made some cash in Tesla stock. Still. it's high risk. But for those with patience, it may have a 30% chance of being worth 10X what it is today - in a decade. On the other hand, it probably has a 50% chance of going belly-up.
  21. MishMouse

    MishMouse Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    782
    Loc:
    Verndale, MN
    That Rav4 Ev sounds interesting, 100 miles range is good, but lving in a colder climate I think that sub zero temps may limit that range. I have a 1998 Rav4 AWD and I had good luck with it. Though I am still waiting for a AWD to come on the market that gets over 40 mpg.
  22. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,599
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Looks like Mitsubishi and Subaru will have hybrid 4wds this year. Ford has the C-Max plugin hybrid coming out soon which could be interesting. It's supposed to get over 40mpg. And there is the new Subaru Imprezza which gets 36mpg without hydriding.
  23. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,599
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I agree we have bred a generation on non-risk takers. But Nissan is not above taking risks. The Leaf is just their current electric car. They have made several models over the years, but only available in Japan. Having driven one I have to say it is a pretty refined vehicle. They have struck a good balance between handling, quiet, ease of use, reliability, etc. And it will be more upgradeable as new battery technologies come out. That is one issue I have with Tesla's designs. Their batteries don't look highly serviceable or replaceable, but I could be wrong there.
  24. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,830
    Loc:
    Commonwealth Of Massachussetts
    I'd guess you are right. As soon as the cost is low enough and the range long enough sales should sky-rocket.
  25. MishMouse

    MishMouse Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    782
    Loc:
    Verndale, MN
    Now, a Subaru based hybrid should easily get 50 mpg, that might be my new used car in the next 5 years or so. Hopefully the spit and bailing wire will hold on my RAV until then. :cool:

Share This Page