Electric car startup Coda laying off 50

Following struggles by Better Place, Fisker Automotive and the bankrupt A123 Systems, electric car startup Coda Automotive has laid off 50 workers, according to PluginCars. The car company has reportedly had really slow sales, and recently received a low score for its frontal crash test.

A Coda spokesperson said that 50 employees was 15 percent of the workforce. The company’s first electric sedan to market was delayed by years, and the car maker officially launched its sales in the Spring of 2012. But even after launch, the company had to recall 78 of its cars for faulty parts.

Coda's electric sedan, rear shot

Coda has been directly competing with the LEAF in terms of price, all-electric features and the fact that both cars are pretty basic. Nissan’s LEAF has an official electric range of 73 miles and a 99 MPGe, and costs $35,200 (without subsidies). The Coda sedan has a base cost of $37,900 down from $44,900 (before any state and federal subsidies).

Coda has a joint venture with China battery maker Lishen, called Lio (oil spelled backward), and is in the process of raising $150 million in funding to help get these inaugural cars to the first customers in California. Other investors in Coda include Aeris Capital and Singapore-based EDB Investments.

This is a bad few weeks for electric car companies. Electric car charging infrastructure company Better Place delivered massive layoffs, electric car company Fisker Automotive is searching for a partner to help it get its Atlantic built, and battery maker A123 Systems was sold off in bankruptcy court to Chinese auto giant Wanxiang.