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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Coda Automotive Raises $25 Million to Build Electric Sedan

Coda Automotive said it raised $25 million from private investment manager Aeris Capital AG to develop an all-electric sedan for sale this year.

The capitalization for Coda, a unit of closely held Miles Electric Vehicles of Santa Monica, California, now totals $74 million. Investors include founder Miles Rubin; Thomas McLarty, former chief of staff for President Bill Clinton; and Henry Paulson Jr., former U.S. Treasury Secretary under President George W. Bush.

Niall Davis, a principal of Aeris Capital, will join Coda’s board. Chief Executive Officer Kevin Czinger said in a statement that the investment positions Coda to “execute upon its commitment to deliver the first affordable, all-electric sedan to U.S. consumers in 2010.”

Coda has said it will sell an electric car assembled in China, starting in November. “Over time we’re looking to build our cars and the batteries here in the U.S.,” Chief Financial Officer Dan Mosher said in a telephone interview.

The company will have capacity from a plant owned by Hafei Motor Co. initially for 1,400 vehicles from November to January, Mosher said. He said Coda aims to sell 20,000 of the four- seaters, with a top speed of 80 miles per hour, during 2011. The car is powered by a lithium-ion battery.

Coda has said the car will sell for about $45,000, after a federal tax rebate. Kara Saltness, a company spokeswoman, said “we’re looking to get it below that.”

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