CODA Electric Car with 40% More Range than Nissan LEAF

By John Addison (11/18/11)

CODA New Price of $39,995 with 50% Larger Lithium Battery

My test drive of the new CODA showed that this new electric car is similar in handling and performance to the Nissan LEAF and Ford Focus Electric which I have also driven. CODA has at least 40 percent more electric range than the LEAF and Focus Electric which each have 24 kW lithium batteries in comparison to CODA’s 36 kW lithium iron phosphate battery. Battery size isn’t everything, but it’s a lot when driving an electric car 80 miles on the freeway and wondering if you will get home. Even with Nissan and Ford’s Eco modes, slightly lighter weight, and advanced engineering, CODA is likely to offer 40 percent more electric range.

For the past six months, my wife and I have been delighted with driving our LEAF. We have experienced 120 mile range on quiet streets going 30 mph, but on the freeway at 65, we starting worrying after driving 60 miles. For longer trips, we use our second car which is a hybrid. With the CODA we could have made some trips that were not possible or practical with the LEAF. CODA gives their car a target range of 150 miles per electric car in comparison to 100 for the LEAF or Focus Electric.

These 3 electric cars support the Level 2 standard for charging. CODA and Ford charge at 6.6 kW/h, double the speed of the 2012 Nissan LEAF. This speed rarely matters at home, but when using a public charger it can make the difference between working at a nearby Starbucks for one hour instead of two. Since there are over 10,000 public chargers installed in the U.S., I’ve had great personal luck finding and using public chargers but double the charge speed would be great. The 2013 Nissan LEAF will match the Ford and CODA 6.6 kW/h.

Unlike the CODA, the current LEAF also includes a DC Fast Charge which offers an 80 percent charge in 26 minutes, or a lot less if you’re battery is only partially depleted. Nissan’s Mark Perry tells me that there are over 500 DC Fast Chargers planned for installation, but only a few in states like Oregon currently operational.

CODA is a four-door compact sedan that comfortably holds 5 people. It no more calls attention to itself than a Camry or Civic. With 14 cubic feet, it has more trunk space than competitors such as the LEAF, Volt, and Focus Electric, and much more than the Mitsubishi i. The competition however is five-door hatchbacks. Lower their backseats and plenty of cargo space is available when only traveling with two or three people.

My test drive car CODA costs about $41,400 because it included air conditioning. The interior is nice but not as nicely appointed as competition from Nissan, Ford, Chevrolet and others. It doesn’t have all the infotainment and telematics, but it probably has all the features of your current sedan. Like other cars with the instant torque of an electric motor, I had no problem accelerating around slower cars and maneuvering through hectic LA traffic. The CODA is certainly worth a test drive if you are considering an electric car and want more range.

CODA Corporate Overview

A car buyer wants some reassurances that a car company will be around as long as their 8 year lithium battery warranty. CODA’s past struggles with multiple changes of the CEO, difficulty to secure financing, and years of delay in manufacturing will cause some to buy from Nissan, Ford, and others.

CODA tells me that they are starting manufacturing. Then again, they told me that two years ago. A few cars are planed for delivery to their investors by year end. In 2012 Q1 deliveries to fleets like Enterprise Car Rental and SDG&E are expected. By mid-year consumer deliveries should be underway.

CODA Holdings is a privately held American company that designs, manufactures and sells all electric vehicles and battery systems. CODA’s initial vehicle, the CODA Sedan, a four-door, five-passenger all-electric vehicle with a range of up to 150 miles per charge.

Phil Murtaugh, CEO of CODA Holdings, comes from GM with extensive automotive executive experience. CODA headquarters/design/engineering center are in Los Angeles, California for its 225 employees.

Investors are made up of large institutional investors and high net worth individuals including former U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. CODA has global joint-venture with Lishen Power Battery, a global battery cell supplier to Samsung, Motorola and Apple, for the design, manufacture and sale of battery systems called Lishen CODA Energy Systems. Together, CODA and Lishen developed a lithium iron phosphate battery cell for transportation and utility applications including renewable energy (wind and solar power) storage.

To reduce the capital intensive nature of the automotive industry, CODA controls all core vehicle design and engineering work internally while partnering with a global network of established manufacturers and suppliers. In total, CODA has more than thirty suppliers and partners on four continents. CODA’s supply chain partners include BorgWarner, UQM Technologies, Energy CS, Continental Automotive Systems, Porsche Design Studios, Delphi, Celgard, Novolyte Technologies, OMITEC, Lear and HELLA.

CODA Specifications

Dimensions

Vehicle Range………..up to 150 miles1

Top Speed……………. 85 mph (Electronically Limited)

Charge Time………….6 hours from 220V (30AMP EVSE)2

Occupancy…………….. 5 passenger

Cell Chemistry………..Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4)

Configuration……….. 728 cells (104s7p)

Energy………………….. 36 kWh

Nominal Voltage……. 333V

Wheelbase…………….102.4 inches

Track-Front……………. 58.2 inches

Track-Rear……………… 58.3 inches

Overall Length………. 176.4 inches

Overall Width…………67.2 inches

Overall Height………. 58.0 inches

Headroom

(front/rear)…………….. 35.5/31.7 inches

Shoulder Room

(front/rear)…………….. 53.0/52.4 inches

Legroom

(front/rear)………………41.3/30.3 inches

Trunk Space……………14.1cubic feet

Passenger Space…….82 cubic feet

Curb Weight…………..3,670 lbs

Motor Power ………… 100 kW/134 hp (peak)

Motor Torque…………300 Nm/221 lb-ft

Transmission…………..Single speed gear reduction

Drive Ratio……………..6.54:1

Suspension……………. Four-wheel independent with front

MacPherson struts & rear shocks

Steering………………… Rack-and-pinion with

electric power steering

Air Conditioning…….2.0 kW cabin cooling

DC:DC Converter….. 2.2 kW @13 V output

Charger…………………. 6.6 kW/240VAC input

or 1.3 kW/110 VAC input (back-up charging)

Wheels………………….. 17-inch 5-spoke wheels with 205/45/RF17 all-season tires

Brakes…………………… Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)

Traction Control…….. Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

Airbags…………………. 6 airbag system (2 advanced frontal, 2 seat-mounted side & 2 side curtain), front seat occupant detection system

Seat Belts……………….3-point, pre-tensioned, load limited (front seats)

LATCH System………..Child Seat Restraints

Limited Vehicle………. 3 years/36,000 miles

Limited Battery……….. 8 years/100,000 miles

Share This Post

About Author: John Addison

Founder of the Clean Fleet Report, author of Save Gas, Save the Planet. John writes about electric cars, renewable energy, and sustainability. (c) Copyright John Addison. Permission to repost up to a 200 word summary if a link is included to the original article at Clean Fleet Report.

Let us know what you think.