First Coda Electric Car Deliveries Now “Late Fourth Quarter” 2011

By · April 25, 2011

Coda Electric Sedan

Phil Murtaugh, CEO of Coda Automotive, said his company’s electric car is on schedule to go on sale in the United States in the fourth quarter of this year. "We're making good progress," he said, speaking at the Automotive News China Conference. "We're getting our production tooling all in order now. It takes about six weeks to ship them over to the United States, so sometime in the fourth quarter, probably the late fourth quarter, we'll see cars going on sale in California."

Underscore “Late Fourth Quarter.” Based on pre-delivery announcements and actual deliveries of previous electric cars, that means the first few Coda models could arrive just before the end of the year, with a slow ramp-up in 2012. Coda previously delayed its first sales from a target of December 2010, to the second half of 2011. In announcements, the date has slowly shifted from the second half of 2011, to late 2011, and now late fourth quarter.

If Coda had delivered on its original 2010 timeline, it would have garnered considerable publicity as perhaps the first company to offer a four-door model with robust electric car features—certainly the first start-up to achieve that milestone. Unfortunately, the delays mean that it will face fierce competition from Nissan, Ford, Mitsubishi and others, which are quickly ramping-up production—and offering their all-electric cars for approximately $10,000 less than Coda’s. In September, Coda announced that its EV would sell for $44,900. It will only be available in California for some time.

Coda emphasizes a few key advantages to its model—including a larger battery pack for longer driving range; an active thermal management system to more effectively manage the batteries; a quicker 6.6 kW on-board charger; and a body design that has a trunk.

CEO Phil Murtaugh is the former Asia chief for Chrysler and General Motors. Earlier this year, he replaced Steven Heller—who temporarily replaced long-time CEO Kevin Czinger. Both Czinger and Heller are former Goldman Sachs executives.

The company is reportedly seeking $50 million investment “to finish the car,” after raising $76 million of a planned $125 million financing round. The company’s total investment is more than $200 million.

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