All Electric Cars Suck (Except the Nissan Leaf): #2 – Talking With Coda Automotive About “Range Anxiety”

Let’s imagine a convo with Aaron Cohen, Director of Marketing Strategy over at the latest iteration of Coda Automotive, that company what promised to build an electric car assembly plant in the Bay Area City of Benicia last year.

Aaron Cohen: “You have “range anxiety” about driving an electric car and then running out of juice someplace. You so crazy! I’m diagnosing your mental dysfunction free of charge, you’re welcome.”

Wedding Guest: Uh, isn’t range a problem with your product. Isn’t that a real-life concern? Isn’t $45k a tad expensive for what’s basically an electrified 1990’s-era econocar?

Aaron Cohen: “I see. I guess I’ve been misleading everybody. It’s sort of my job though. I’m proselytizing EV’s, you know?”

Wedding Guest: Well the problem is that the Sedan model that your employer may eventually offer for sale in CA sucks big-time. And it costs waaaaay too much money for what it is.

Aaron Cohen: “You’re forgetting about the tax incentives, like…”

Wedding Guest: I’ll stop you right there. Didn’t the Chinese market reject this car six years ago back when it was a retreaded Mitsubishi four-cylinder gas-engine vehicle selling for something like $9000-something? And didn’t the Euros reject this car back in the 1990’s when it was known as a Mitsubishi Carisma? And doesn’t the huge trunk come at the expense of rear seat passenger room? Now, I know that experts have come in to help you all electrify the thing, but why didn’t you start with a modern vehicle?

Aaron Cohen: “Gee, I’m kind of new here and Wikipedia doesn’t mention any of this stuff .”

Wedding Guest: Well, there you go. Wiki tends to forget about things that determined people are determined to make Wiki forget about. Oh well. Now, whatever you do, don’t badmouth the Nissan Leaf the way soooooo many other people from Coda have done before you. You’re trying to market one of the worst vehicles available (or soon-to-be-available, see below) in the American marketplace, just so you know.

Aaron Cohen: “Gee, now that I know all that, I come off kind of patronizing, huh?”

Wedding Guest: A little, sport. Just a little. Your electrified ride was supposed to come out in 2008, back in the day. Now it’s over budget and behind schedule. Coda Automotive doesn’t know what it’s doing and its dithering is taking up too much time and money from the govmint – why don’t you address one or both of those issues post-haste, Coda? All right, Aaron, Go Forth and Sin No More.

Wow, that was a piece of cake. Too bad real life isn’t that easy…

Now, let’s close with the sperpective of some wag from last year. (I’ll tell you, I can’t begin to tell you all the problems that Coda Automotive has. Oh well.)

“The NYT’s Jim Motavalli has some news about California’s very own electric car company today:

Coda Automotive is a start-up company that will deliver its first $44,900 electric cars to customers in its home state of California “in three to four months,” said its president and chief executive, Kevin Czinger.”

What that means is that, once again, an electric car company is letting you down, ’cause deliveries were just recently promised for the “fourth quarter of 2010.” (Seems as if promises from any kind of car company aren’t really worth that much these days.)

Now, back in the day, just three years ago, the electric car we were going to get from China was called the Javlon XS500. It was suppose to come in 2008. It didn’t. Check it:

Miles Automotive on the $30,000 Javlon XS500 all-electric sedan

Then, in 2008, we were promised the Miles XS500. That was going to come in 2009. It didn’t. Check it:

Miles XS500 will be a lot more expensive than planned, maybe

Then, in 2009, we were promised the Coda Automotive Sedan. That was going to come in 2010. It hasn’t so far. Check it:

Coda Automotive Unveils New Mainstream All-Electric Sedan

So, based upon the statement written on the NYT website, I guess it’ll be 2011 before the “final assembly” plant in Benicia, CA starts rolling out product.

(Perhaps it’s easier to badmouth Nissan than fulfill promises? Sure looks that way…)

In other news, Vice President of Global Sales, Marketing and Distribution, Michael A. Jackson has left the building. Mmmmm….

And hey, remember Webvan, that slow-motion car crash of a dotcom company, you know, the one that made a big splash and then soon after went belly up, the one that was brought to you by, among others, Kevin Czinger and Goldman Sachs?

Well, KC and GS are back again with Coda Automotive.

Let’s see how they do this go-around…”

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