Electric Car Maker Coda Makes Progress On Funding


Updated: The then-CEO of electric car startup Coda Automotive told me last August that Coda was in the process of raising a $125 million round of funding, with participation by Morgan Stanley. So how’s the auto maker, which pushed back the launch of its inaugural electric sedan by almost a year and also switched CEOs, doing on that funding? According to a filing this morning, Coda has raised $76.40 million of that $125 million round, and has almost $50 million more to raise.

Update: The funding comes from new investors Harbinger Capital Partners, and Riverstone Holdings and also included existing investors Coda founder Miles Rubin, Coda interim CEO Steven Mac Heller, AERIS Capital, and Angeleno Group.

Perhaps the remaining funds needed contributed to the delay of the launch of the car (that’s pure speculation). Coda’s Heller told me in November, that Coda now plans to start production of the car in the summer of 2011, with a launch in the third quarter of 2011, in order to give the company “a buffer,” to ensure the quality of the car. “We want to be triple-sure that when we bring the car to market, it will be perfect, and consumers will have confidence in it,” Heller said.

Coda is still looking to ramp up to selling around 14,000 electric sedans in its first year on sale (former CEO Kevin Czinger told me the company planned for 7,000 to consumers and 7,000 to fleets), but clearly, that estimate has moved out a good 8 to 12 months.

Tesla famously pushed out the sale of its inaugural vehicle — the electric Roadster — for months, and has seemed to recover from that move. Other electric car companies, like Aptera, have pushed back sales dates of its cars, and have seemed to struggle.

Coda has also been waiting to see if the DOE will give it a loan out of its advanced vehicles manufacturing program. On progress of the loan Heller told me in November: “We’re waiting by the phone.”

When Coda launches its electric sedan later this year, it will still be one of the first startups in the world to offer an electric mainstream car. If the pricing remains the same, the Coda sedan will cost $44,900 before any subsidies, $37,400 with the federal incentive, and as low as $32,400 with both state and federal subsidies in certain markets like California. Tesla’s Model S electric sedan, which will cost around $50,000, will be launched in late 2012/early 2013.

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