Introducing the All-Electric CODA (Editors Note at end about driving this car)
LOS ANGELES, September 11, 2012 –
Just four years ago, CODA Automotive opened its first U.S. facility at the Santa Monica airport in Southern California with an ambitious yet pragmatic plan to design, manufacture and sell pure-electric, zero-emission cars in America. Driven by a desire to literally clear the air and leave fossil fuels in the rear-view mirror, the company then began the daunting work of starting a new car company.
A crucial part of CODA’s plan focused on the battery system for its new car. Seen as the key to battery electric vehicle (BEV) success, CODA entered into a joint venture with Lishen, one of the largest battery manufacturers in the world, to develop a new generation of purpose-built EV batteries. The end product now literally, and figuratively, forms the foundation of CODA’s first car.
2) Limiting charging time to no longer than six hours; 3) Utilizing a thermal management system to optimize battery range and longevity in different climates and usage patterns. With this direction, CODA then focused on its core engineering strength–EV battery and propulsion systems—and identified appropriate existing modules and components that could be suitably optimized for BEV duty.
The resulting vehicle is a C-segment compact sedan with dimensions well-suited to a new life as a BEV. CODA engineered the steel monocoque structure to package the battery pack and related components to best advantage. High-strength and super high-strength steel is used strategically to ensure body stiffness and strength to meet or exceed FMVSS requirements. The suspension and brake systems were designed and developed using proven technology to meet CODA’s goals for its new electric car.
Much More than Just a Battery
CODA’s advanced lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) EV battery system was specifically designed from the ground up to power electric vehicles. Its 31 kWh of usable capacity combines with the efficient CODA powertrain and lightweight body/chassis to deliver best-in-class* range of up to 125 miles (EPA 88 miles, UDDS 134 miles), 0-60 acceleration time (9.5 seconds), and 30-70 acceleration time (8.4 seconds). Using the on-board 6.6 kW Level 2 charger, the battery can be taken from completely “empty” to fully charged in six hours.
At the most basic level, CODA’s LiFePO4 battery chemistry demonstrates a number of advantages over other types currently on the market, including high energy density, enhanced safety, and excellent resistance to abuse. But CODA’s desire to create the best possible propulsion system for its new (and future) vehicles required more than just a game-changing battery cell.
To function effectively and reliably in the harsh and variable environments that cars encounter every day, and do this for many years, CODA’s proprietary LiFePO4 battery pack is supported by two important battery management systems: Active Thermal Management System (ATMS) and Battery Management System (BMS).
The ATMS uses strategically managed active air cooling and heating to regulate battery pack temperature, a crucial advantage for optimum range and capacity in a wide variety of climatic conditions. Effective temperature regulation also extends battery life and enhances safety. The result is a battery-electric vehicle (BEV) that can be driven virtually anywhere in the country throughout the year with confidence.
The BMS maintains balance in the battery pack to maximize available energy and communicates with the ATMS to help keep the battery pack operating at the desired temperature. It also regulates charging by managing the flow of charge across battery cells. While these aspects are transparent the driver, the BMS communicates by keeping track of the state of charge (SOC) and relaying to the driver via CODA’s Green ScreenTM/® energy monitoring system.
The CODA EV battery is packaged in a special high-strength structure that literally forms the floor of the car. This location and layout offers a near ideal combination of packaging, safety, vehicle stability and battery cooling airflow.
CODA’s ground-breaking EV battery technology also translates into long-term peace of mind for consumers. All CODAs carry a 10-year/100,000-mile battery warranty, the longest EV battery warranty currently available. And though battery recycling technology is still developing, 99 percent of the CODA EV battery is recyclable.
Power, Efficiency and Zero Emissions
The all-electric CODA channels its 31 kWh of battery energy through an efficient brushless DC motor that produces 134 hp and a best-in-class 221 ft – lbs of torque that’s available from the moment the throttle is probed. Power is fed to the wheels via a single-speed gear-reduction transmission.
The combination produces a responsive and seamless acceleration feel that translates to class-leading* 0-60 time and confident passing acceleration–all with the ultra-low powertrain noise levels expected in a pure electric car. And the CODAs performance rivals many gasoline-powered compact cars but does so while achieving zero emissions.
Although it can be said of most BEVs, the value of simplicity inherent in the electric motor and single- speed transmission powertrain should not be understated. The number of moving parts and maintenance requirements are dramatically reduced versus a conventional gasoline engine and transmission. These factors represent a significant part of the all-electric CODA value proposition that provides both short and long-term benefits.
Buff Body, Athletically Assembled
The CODA EV is currently the only 4-door, 5-passenger sedan in its class on the market. CODAs design allows a very low-profile battery pack that fits neatly under the driver and passenger floors, an optimum location for safety and vehicle stability.
A high-strength steel-reinforced monocoque structure provides a rigid and robust platform for the fully independent suspension. Independent struts are used up front with coil springs, gas-pressure shock absorbers and an anti-sway bar. The rear suspension features an independent multi-link arrangement with coil springs and gas shocks. The multi-link design minimizes ride/handling trade-offs and helps take full advantage of the low center of gravity (CG) afforded by the floor-level battery pack placement.
Importantly, CODA’s design makes effective use of the cumulative benefits of battery and EV powertrain packaging. The low CG means that softer spring rates can be used to accomplish the same roll stiffness as an equivalent gasoline-powered car, giving engineers more tuning latitude and requiring fewer compromises. Front-to-rear weight distribution is also much better balanced (front: 54% /rear: 46%), further benefitting both ride and handling dynamics.
A regenerative brake system makes good use of otherwise wasted brake energy to help charge the traction battery during driving. Depending on driving patterns, the regenerative action recovers up to 15% of the battery’s capacity. It also assists in deceleration which means the wheel brakes have less work to do. This allows the brake components to be lighter which again benefits ride and handling, especially on rough surfaces.
The all-electric CODA wears a set of 17×7″ aluminum alloy wheels with low profile P205/45 H17 all- season tires that impart a sporty yet comfortable ride and handling feel.
Safe at Home
As with any car, the body structure plays a major role in vehicle safety and was one of the key drivers in the selection of CODA’s sedan platform design. Reconfiguring the body for EV duty also gave engineers the opportunity to enhance body structure in myriad ways. High-strength steel is used extensively, including the floor, side rails, roof structure and engine compartment. Ultra high-strength steel is employed in critical areas in the front and center pillars, as well as the roof.
The CODA sedan’s SRS airbag system includes six airbags: two dual-stage airbags in front; two seat- mounted side airbags; and two roof-mounted side curtain airbags. Front seat belts are height adjustable and include pre-tensioners and force limiters.
A four-channel anti-lock braking system plus electronic traction and stability control systems have been integrated in the CODA design, and all are standard equipment.
Earth-Saving Comfort, Brain-Saving Features
The all-electric CODA’s roomy interior features multi-adjustable bucket seats with standard “eco” fabric that is 42 percent recycled material. A leather-wrapped steering wheel is standard and leather seating is available.
The CODA’s sedan configuration yields a generous 14 cubic ft. covered trunk, augmented by the 60/40 split-folding rear seats that make room for longer items.
Standard power door locks with keyless remote access, power windows and mirrors make the CODA EV easy to live with, and standard navigation, Bluetooth, and CODA’s unique Green ScreenTM/® energy monitoring system keep you connected and informed.
A six-speaker AM/FM/CD/DVD audio system with USB/iPod connections is standard and a premium audio system with upgraded speakers and an amplifier is available.
Price: Less than Meets the Eye
The 2012 all-electric CODA wears a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $37,250. However, a wide range of federal, state, regional, local and even corporate incentives are available for alternative-fuel vehicles such as the CODA EV. For example, the U.S. government currently offers a federal tax incentive of up to $7,500, and the state of California offers a rebate of $2,500, dropping the effective total cost to just $27,250.
Clearly, the cost of a new vehicle goes well beyond price. When all key factors are considered, CODA provides a lower five-year total cost of ownership compared to similarly sized internal combustion engine and hybrid competitors1. It also delivers the best EV range cost-per-mile of any vehicle in its class.
All new CODA vehicles carry a comprehensive warranty:
New vehicle limited warranty: Powertrain limited warranty: Battery limited warranty:
3-year/36,000-mile 5-year/60,000-mile 10-year/100,000-mile
* Non-luxury compact battery electric vehicle (BEV) class
1 Based on CODA analysis of industry standard and publicly available information
Ed’s Note – I drove this car at Alt Expo 2012, and although a reasonably built car for the price, the brake software still needs a little work. Since it is software, I am sure it will be fixed. The Alpine Audio was very nice, and for the size of car it is quite comfortable for a nearly 6 foot tall man at 180 pounds. I would like to get a test car for two or three days to include highway driving for a complete review.