Test Drive: 2012 CODA All-Electric Sedan

?CODA: A classically styled all-electric, zero emission sedan?

2012 Coda
2012 Coda All-Electric

Santa Monica, CA – If you happen to be in the market for a sensibly designed, all-electric vehicle (no spaceship styling here folks) then a CODA sedan might be just the ticket for you. The 2012 CODA artfully blends form and function in a no-nonsense packaging approach in an electric vehicle. CODA by the way is a musical term that relates to the end of a movement.

Shopping for a CODA is easy too, there?s only one trim level ? Top-of-the-line, which simplifies vehicle selection. The CODA is a four-door sedan that accommodates five passengers comfortably. There are but two options – a leather interior with sound package, and black powder-coated alloy wheels. Available color choices include: Reflection Silver, Night Owl Black, Cloud Nine White, Perfect Storm Gray and optional Fathom Blue and Pulse Red at extra cost; two styles of aluminum wheels are available; and interior material ? luxury eco-friendly seat fabric or leather. CODA?s base price is set at $37,250 with an $895 Destination and Handling charge, which brings the total sticker to $38,145. Federal and individual state tax savings and credits may bring the price down to $22,250.

2012 CODA

In terms of styling, since there?s no conventional gas or diesel power plant to deal with, CODA?s front end needed no grille for cooling, hence a nose that?s distinctive without drawing undue attention to itself. The rest of the car speaks to simplicity, with clean purposeful lines and no unnecessary frills. It?s an attractive, conventional styled, if not emotionally stirring sedan.

CODA?s power is provided by a low cost, non-toxic 100kW UQM? PowerPhase? electric motor powered by 624 Lithium iron phosphate batteries (LiFePO4) ? 31 kWh – 333 V / DC converter- 2.2 kW@ 13 V output and 6.6 kW/240VAC input or 1.3 kW/110 VAC input (for backup charging). The peak horsepower amounts to 134, while torque delivery is rated at 221 pound feet. Energy reaches the drive wheels via a BorgWarner?GearDrive? single speed transmission that delivers high efficiency, high torque capacity with low noise, vibration and harshness in a compact package. Obviously, there?s no direct emissions or exhaust either.

2012 CODA - Engine Compartment?? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Key features (no pun intended here) CODA operates by turning it on with a simple, traditional ignition key ? nothing trick or fancy. Turn the one-of-a-kind?gear knob to shift between Park, Reverse, Neutral and Drive.? Every CODA also?comes with an Alpine? all-in-one audio, video and GPS navigation system on a 7-inch, color touch screen. A Premium Alpine sound system is available with the leather interior upgrade. Bluetooth? provides hands-free calling, along with MP3, iPod?, iPhone? and USB connectivity.

There?s also a Battery Management System that constantly monitors the vehicle?s battery state of charge allowing the driver to always be aware of existing range. The battery is mounted low beneath the floor, located between the front and rear wheels for optimum weight distribution and improved center of gravity, as well as optimizing usable interior space, and it?s protected from excessive heat or cold by a forced air, ?Active Thermal Management system.

Charging is easy with CODA?s best-in-class 6.6kW available in home charger?which is eligible for a tax credit. A conventional 12V battery provides power for onboard accessories. Basic charging systems consist of: a level 1, 120V system and a charging cord comes with the CODA as standard ? full charging with this system takes an average of 24 hours; the level 2, 220V home charging station is a better method, with full charging achieved in roughly six hours (a 50-mile range is available after only a two hour charge. A federal tax credit of up to $1,000. is available to offset installation costs of this system. CODA actually recommends a wall-mounted WattStation? by GE as the preferred home charging system, based on 30-amp output to ensure faster charging. Other charging sources are publicly available and may be located via PlugShare ? a down-loadable mobile app. A home solar system is also available.

2012 CODA - Interior

What happens if something should go wrong with your CODA? Actually, since there are fewer moving parts in the CODA compared to a conventional gas-powered vehicle, there?s less likelihood of anything going awry, but to be on the safe side, CODA has developed a regular maintenance schedule to ensure that your vehicle is operating at maximum efficiency. This schedule may be carried out at any of CODA?s certified dealers in the network, and while your vehicle is?being serviced, CODA will provide a courtesy loaner vehicle from Enterprise Rent-A-Car. CODA also offers as standard, a 24/7 roadside assistance program along with a CODA Call Center.

In terms of safety, 2012 CODA delivers standard features such as ABS brakes,? Electronic Stability Control and Traction Control to provide driver confidence, along with a smart airbag system.

My test of the 2012 CODA wore a Perfect Storm metallic exterior and featured the Leather and Sound package. The base price was set at $37,250 which came to $39,340 after adding the Leather and Sound package and destination charge, but before applying any available tax credits, which can significantly lower the cost.

SUMMARY: Driving the CODA actually delivers a fun experience – it drives and handles just like a conventional auto, with plenty of torque and a respectable range that turns out to be somewhat better than many other electric vehicles available on the market, with two driving modes to choose from: ECO and Sport.

The CODA is quick, quiet and comfortable. The front driver?s seat would benefit from more rear travel, for better adjustment to suit some driver?s. Outward visibility is very good, and the handling characteristics deliver a satisfying response for a sporty sensation.

An energy or ?state of charge? gauge in the color touch screen allows for keeping track of range in both an expected and maximum level, and it proved to be quite accurate. The Premium sound system that comes with the leather interior is very good, but the buttons are very small and not totally intuitive. For instance, it?s not readily apparent how to turn the radio on and off. The blue illuminated digital readout for the odometer is difficult to read with its black background in any light and impossible when wearing sunglasses. A plus though, is the sliding sunvisors, which many more expensive competitors do not have.

2012 CODA - Side View

CODA Automotive is a privately held company headquartered in Southern California that designs, manufactures and sells electric vehicles and battery systems that are purpose-built for transportation and utility applications. CODA?s goal is to reduce global dependence on fossil fuel, with a focus on green?technology and quality. CODA depends upon more than 30 suppliers on four continents, allowing for the development of affordable EV technology, and the CODA team is made up of executives and engineers with backgrounds and experience from virtually all major auto manufacturers globally, including Chrysler, Ferrari, Ford, General Motors, Mitsubishi, Porsche, and Toyota.

CODA is primarily Chinese in content with the ?Glider? (rolling chassis) built in China and shipped to Benicia, CA for the car?s final assembly. Every CODA?comes backed by a 3-year / 36,000-mile warranty, 5-year / 60,000-mile powertrain warranty and 10-year / 100,000-mile limited battery warranty, with the batteries expected to last the life of the car.

2012 CODA - Wheels

CODAs are currently only available in California, but are scheduled to go on sale nationwide in the near future.

SPECIFICATIONS: CODA Four Door All Electric Sedan-?12

Base Price: $37,250
Price as Tested: $39,340
Engine Type and Size: 100kW UQM? PowerPhase? DC brushless electric motor powered by Lithium Iron Phosphate battery (LiFePO4) ? 31 kWh ? 333 V / DC converter- 2.2 kW@ 13 V output and 6.6 kW/240VAC input or 1.3 kW/110 VAC input (backup charging)
Horsepower (bhp): 134 peak
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 221
Transmission: Single speed gear reduction 6.54:1 ratio automatic
Drive Train: Front mounted motor / Front wheel drive
Suspension: Four-wheel independent

Front ? MacPherson strut

Brakes: Vented front discs / rear drum, four-channel ABS, ESC with Traction Control, TPMS and regenerative braking
Tires: Kumho Ecsta AST 205/45/ R17 88H all season mounted on 5-double-spoke alloy wheels
Wheelbase: 102.4 inches
Length Overall: 176.4 inches
Width: 67.2 inches
Height: 58.0 inches
Curb Weight: 3,670 lbs
Fuel Capacity: 00 gallons – N/A
EPA Mileage Estimates: Range = Up to 125 miles / EPA rating 88 miles (133.6 UDDS range rating). Charge time ? 6 hours with 220V (30 amp EVSE) / 24 hours average with 120V
Drag Coefficient: 0.34
0 – 60 mph: Not tested ? Top Speed 85 mph ? electronically limited






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