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The Coda Electric Car at the Detroit International Auto Show (Video) 284

Posted by Roblimo
from the maybe-enough-battery-life-to-get-you-to-work-and-back dept.
Last week Timothy Lord looked at the Tesla Model S. He also took a quick look at the CODA electric car. Like Tesla, CODA is based in California. Like Tesla, CODA is building purely electric, "plug-in" cars. But unlike Tesla, CODA is making a bland but practical sedan that can go up to 150 miles on a charge and costs about $37,000. That's not exactly a Kia-competitive price, even though Tim says it looks kind of like a Kia. But it's 100% electric and costs less than a Tesla -- really, hardly more than a Nissan Leaf. And it has a fully-usable back seat and a decent-sized trunk. And unlike the Nissan Leaf, it's made right here in the good old USA.

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The Coda Electric Car at the Detroit International Auto Show (Video)

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  • Made in the USA (Score:2, Interesting)

    And will probably have to stay there last week we had temperatures of -37C with wind chill of -49C. We could hardly get you dino fuel vehicles to work. 4 years ago it was -52C with no wind chill when I woke up in the morning. My fancy lion powered drills stop working at -10C and will not charge below 0C or above 30C.
    • by slackware 3.6 (2524328) on Monday January 23, 2012 @10:07AM (#38790829)
      And if you buy one you are going to need to hire an electrician. And if you rent or live in a condo/apartment try finding a 240v plug in the parkade. Or a landlord that will let you install one. And power in 15c a kW/h plus transmission charges 33c per kW/h.
      • Odd, why didn't they add an option to charge from a standard 120V socket? At whatever the power rate is in the US for standard sockets (over here it's 3.6kW), charging would be slower but it's better than nothing.
      • by WindBourne (631190) on Monday January 23, 2012 @10:36AM (#38791143) Journal
        Not even close to being true. The average cost in America for electricity is around .11/kwh. The transmission costs, are rarely variable, but fixed. That way, it can be broken out. OTH, when the transmission costs are variable, they are rolled into the costs. And transmission costs are less than .02/kwh. In addition, a number of electric companies give price breaks for charging in the middle of the night.

        Even with that, .33 KWH is still less than $3/gal gas. And I doubt that we will see 3/gal gas.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Dare nMc (468959)

          >Even with that, .33 KWH is still less than $3/gal gas. And I doubt that we will see 3/gal gas.

          no it's not. MotorWeek tested the Nissan leaf vs Chevy Volt, with $3.25 gasoline according to the Volts's computer it produced electricity at $.10/kwHr. My work is Diesiel generator only, they are averaging (with a widely varying load) $.22/kwHr from $3.50 diesel, so I doubt the Leafs computer, but it is within belief.
          Also If you look at Tesla's numbers, they claim 120MPG equivalent of $3 gasoline using $.05

          • by Marcika (1003625)
            Your leaf computer is lying to you. There are 36.6kWh of heat in a gallon of gasoline, the computer claims to have converted 32.5 of those into electricity. This means a combustion efficiency of almost 90%. Theoretical limit for a single-stage car engine is 37% afaik, and on average even the best cars don't get more than 20%-30%...
            • by Dare nMc (468959)

              what gasoline are you using? gasoline has 33.41 kWh/Gal [wikipedia.org] so it is only claiming a 30% conversion ratio, very possible.

            • by Dare nMc (468959)

              sorry, your number is correct, I didn't calculate for $3 per gallon so it should be around that $.25kwhr electric rate to generate from a $3 gallon of gas (which is about the current price if you take out the road tax that should be charged equally to electric from the pump price.)

      • by jeffmeden (135043)

        And if you buy one you are going to need to hire an electrician. And if you rent or live in a condo/apartment try finding a 240v plug in the parkade. Or a landlord that will let you install one. And power in 15c a kW/h plus transmission charges 33c per kW/h.

        33c per kwh? wat? Is that canadian dollars? "expensive" in the US is 14c.

        (yes i know that the exch. rate has been even for some time)

      • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Monday January 23, 2012 @01:12PM (#38793305) Homepage Journal

        All a 240V plug is, is two 120V plugs that share a ground, on two separate circuits from the panel. Adapters that combine them at the outlets cost $50 each retail or less. An electrician will charge something like $100 to run a new pair of 120V circuits from your panel if necessary. At 6.6KW, 240V means 27.5A, so each 120V line needs only 30A. Which means the whole thing is exactly like installing an electric oven, which is a pretty common little project.

        Once there's more than one or two plugin cars in a parking lot the owners will install the 240V outlets. Because they'll attach a meter that charges more than they pay the grid. A grid that doesn't charge $0.33:KWh; the NYC Con Ed rate is highest in the country at $0.21:KWh. And that's if you don't have Time Of Use (TOU) rates, which charge under $0.15:KWh at night and through the Winter, which is when you'd charge your car at home.

        So in fact the economics of plugin cars makes a lot of sense. Which is why many thousands have already been sold. Of course as that number turns to millions the grid needs upgrades for the switch in power distribution from gas to electric, even though at greater efficiency (fewer source joules per mile travelled). But that problem isn't here yet, and the solutions are already in the works (including decentralized generation, like onsite where the charging happens).

        I don't know where you're getting your numbers from. Is there some oil corp chain email going around?

      • by s73v3r (963317)

        Yay, you've just proven that they're not for everyone. Which is what the entire industry has been saying since the fucking beginning.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 23, 2012 @10:05AM (#38790803)

    I went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast this past weekend. Oddly enough, they had three electric car charging stations near the front entrance. I had to laugh because in all three parking spaces was parked a gas guzzler. For the concept to work, you'd need to instate laws to ticket non-electric vehicles or put the spaces so far away that fat people would stay away from them. Unfortunately, you only need an IQ of about 50 to drive and absolutely no manners whatsoever, so it's going to be a difficult problem to solve.

    • by dmbasso (1052166)

      And when you talk about law you have to remember whose interests are involved: Who Killed the Electric Car? [imdb.com].

      Everybody should watch this documentary, and be revolted with those in command.

      • by Blakey Rat (99501)

        Yes and watch my new documentary: "Everything Is A Conspiracy Even Things That Failed On Their Own Merits!"

        Find out who THEY are and why THEY don't want you driving electric cars!

        • by dmbasso (1052166)

          Watch the fucking documentary before saying shit please. Then you can contest the specific arguments. 'THEY', as you wrote, are explicitly exposed, with the reasoning for 'THEIR' actions.

          I was about to write some of the arguments presented in the documentary, but what for? In your mind I'm a conspiracy theorist, and no evidence would prove otherwise.

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      You don't need a law. You need a store willing to self-police its own private parking, the same way my local bank tows people who are not banking. If a gasser is sitting in an EV spot, then cracker barrel should have them removed.

      - "$37,000"

      Waaaay too high in price. Solectria made a car similar to this in the early 2000s, and it failed to sell because of that high price. They need to find a way to make the car less than an Lexus or Acura, otherwise people will just buy the luxury car.

      For now I think th

      • by Roblimo (357)

        "Gasser" is going to become the new "hooptie." I say this as someone who drives an 18-year-old, gas-powered Jeep Cherokee with peeling paint.

    • by garcia (6573)

      There are hybrid parking spaces at the local transit station I use daily. I don't agree with limiting parking spaces in a publicly funded parking lot for those who can afford a new car and especially one that is a hybrid.

      If I had more than one car and actually drove to the transit station myself to park (instead of being dropped off, walking or biking as I do) I would park there with my "gas guzzling" Mazda3 (yes, it is a gas guzzler even though it's very compact).

      Perhaps instead of having "no manners whats

      • by dreemernj (859414)

        Perhaps instead of having "no manners whatsoever" they simply don't agree with such ridiculousness?

        I think that applies to this conversation if your local Cracker Barrel is publicly funded.

    • by timeOday (582209)
      I suppose that's an issue for anybody who drives more than 75 miles to go to Cracker Barrel.

      150 miles is far more than enough for most people's day-to-day driving. A typical family has a car and a minivan or SUV. This would replace the car, not the minivan.

  • by tgd (2822) on Monday January 23, 2012 @10:05AM (#38790805)

    Final assemby is in the USA. Most of the chassis is made in China, and the rest of the parts are sourced from various places around the world.

    Unlike, say, a Hyundai which is almost entirely made in the US.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 23, 2012 @10:21AM (#38790951)

    Let's compare. At 15 MPG for my 30 mile commute, that $14/day in gas. At 48 work weeks a year, that's $1680 a year in gasoline for my beat up, unstoppable pickup. Back of the envelope math says about $650/mo in payments for the $37K car at 2%. 20 years to pay off if electricity is free? Yes, I'm using 30 years of data that shows that the price of gasoline is pretty constant, but also ignoring the whole PG&E assraping. There's a reason that the average age of a vehicle on the road is growing. That beat up old pickup, at $75/fillup is making me rich.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Don't forget that the electric car can't do much other than be a metro runabout.

      Your truck will go places (not even gnarly off-road terrain, think plain old rutted roads) that will have the small, high MPG vehicle's axles for lunch and the oil pan for dessert.

      I fear that you have too much sense. There is a push to force people to buy high MPG cars... but I'd rather keep a paid off pickup and pay the higher gas cost than have to deal with a $600+ car payment. MPG-wise, but pound foolish. Plus, it takes a

      • by s73v3r (963317)

        Don't forget that the electric car can't do much other than be a metro runabout.

        Which is good enough for the vast majority of people.

        I fear that you have too much sense.

        I fear you're an idiot.

  • NOT MADE IN THE USA (Score:5, Informative)

    by WindBourne (631190) on Monday January 23, 2012 @10:22AM (#38790965) Journal
    The car is made in China. All that CODA does is install a UQM motor (American made with Chinese parts), Chinese made electronics and a chinese made battery.
    This car is 99% Chinese.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      So you mean, it's just like Apple was with the Macintosh? II series anyway... Boards made by Foxconn, plastics made in China, shipped here and assembled in Sacramento by minimum wage fanboys who were nonetheless happy to claim they "worked for apple"

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      Just like every GM car made.

      You want american made? Buy Toyota or Honda.

      • by WindBourne (631190) on Monday January 23, 2012 @11:31AM (#38791823) Journal
        Actually, few of Toyota or Honda are even close to 100% made here. That is why when Japan was hit by the tsunami, All Japanese plants outside of Japan came to a crawl. Probably the most American made is Tesla Model S. Other than the lithium and some of the electronics, allmost all of it is from America. And the Lithium is about to be from USA as well within 2 years.
  • Standard arguments (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vlm (69642) on Monday January 23, 2012 @10:23AM (#38790979)

    Well lets get the standard arguments out of the way so newer, more interesting discussions can happen

    1) It ONLY GOES 150 MILES? I always drive 151 miles per trip, even if its only to the corner store I drive around the block 604 times because I love to drive! Why my commute is over 5 hours per day, each way, because I'm a True American (TM) and you "30 minute commute" people are wimps, democrats, terrorists, or whatever..

    2) If it can't charge in 5 minutes its dead to me. I only sleep in 3 hour shifts before moving to a new location because the T9000 is after me, so it would never get a chance to charge and I only travel to and from places that have no AC power service because otherwise my tinfoil hat sparks excessively.

    3) One model vehicle cannot meet the needs of all buyers, therefore all electric vehicles are useless, because one model of gasoline car meets all human needs. What you say, there are more than one model of gas vehicle? Oh.

    4) It doesn't work too well below -40 degrees C/F so I can't buy it. Sure, I live in southern Florida, but I'm worried about resale value. Oh you say my gas vehicle doesn't work too well at -40 either? So what, everyone knows that, I just felt the need to point this out about electrical cars, because I'm sure none of you lowly serfs would think of that yourselves.

    5) My gas car's SLI battery was carefully engineered to fail in 3 years to maximize corporate profits, and surprise, surprise, it fails every 3 years. I'm sure an electric car will fail in 3 years too, and I don't care if the average Prius battery was engineered to last the life of the car, and in fact it does last the life of the car, you can't force me to think so I won't. Nahh naahhh nahhhhhh! I don't believe in engineering and you shouldn't either.

    6) I will not be satisfied until an automated robot tentacle snakes out of the wall and plugs itself into the charger socket, mostly because I want to watch youtube videos of what the tentacle inserts in women wearing miniskirts. I don't care if everyone north of the mason dixon line already has a block heater and battery heater and battery trickle charger and they perfectly successfully use it every time it gets below zero, because I'm certain no one will ever be able to plug a car in when they park, after all, I don't, so no one in the whole universe every has, can, or will.

    7) What is the charger connector going to be, there is no standard. I don't care if there actually is a perfectly good deployed standard which I could find on wikipedia if I wanted, I just like to post this every singe time there is an electric car article. Also, did you know there is no standard low voltage DC connector? Oh wait, there is. Oh how I love to post this over and over.

    8) Thousands of american military personnel have died for oil, and its disrespectful of their memory not to burn as much gasoline as humanly possible, after all you don't want their relatives to think they died for nothing. My Chinese imported yellow support the troops ribbon sticker on the trunk of my 8 MPG SUV absolves me of all guilt, much like purchasing a pre-reformation indulgence.

    I think that'll do it, does anyone have anything NEW to offer to the standard lineup of /. electric car stories?

    • by cc1984_ (1096355)

      Personally, wrt your 1st point, some kind of long haul system would make this point mute. I make infrequent, but regular trips of > 400 miles. If I could pop my car on a train, everything would be gravy. I can't see it being too hard to get the infrastructure in place.

      Failing that, I see many lorries carrying new cars to showrooms. If someone with enough clout and ingenuity could realize that with the growing number of electric cars, some kind of courier service for cars would make a lot of money, I'd be

      • by vlm (69642)

        I make infrequent, but regular trips of > 400 miles.

        Rental. Been there, done that. Frankly, if I'm moving something big and heavy I'd prefer to mess up the heavily insured rental rather than my daily driver anyway. Besides its fun to drive something new once in a while. I've rented and driven a giant F-350 duallie, the GMC equivalent diesel truck, and several different "moving vans".

        If you're just moving yourself, you're better off taking public transport like a plane, and renting a car at the site. Or, if available, rent a completely impractical but f

        • by cc1984_ (1096355)

          Perhaps, but not ideal in my situation. I want to load up the car, get to Edinburgh, spend a month there or so, and get back. Putting the car on a train would mean I could load luggage at home and have /my/ car available to me in Edinburgh which I can pootle around while feeling smug (that is if I owned an electric car).

          Rental would leave me with a petrol car (not exactly the point of the exercise) to do trips that, once I get to Edinburgh, are ideal for electric. It would also mean a long drive which I don

        • by Ritchie70 (860516)

          It really depends how regular "regular" is. If you make a 400 mile drive, that's probably a 2 day rental minimum, and more likely 3+. (I figure it's roughly 6 - 7 hours of just driving to get there, and unless you're acting as a courier you're probably going to spend some time at your destination.)

          That adds up pretty quickly ($36 a day for an Aveo at Enterprise) to the point that, if it's a monthly trip, you should probably just buy a suitable car.

          If you have a family, and it's a regular trip with the famil

    • by 0123456 (636235)

      "Oh you say my gas vehicle doesn't work too well at -40 either?"

      I regularly drive my gas vehicle at -40. Works fine so long as we plug it in at work to keep the engine warm enough to start easily.

      "I'm sure an electric car will fail in 3 years too"

      Last I read Honda Civic Hybrid owners were suing Honda, supposedly because the batteries were failing so fast that Honda reprogrammed the computer not to use them much so they'd survive the warranty period... wihch made them pointless.

      http://www.autoblog.com/2010/0 [autoblog.com]

    • by ledow (319597)

      How about:

      I've never paid more than £1000 ($1500) for a car in my life, and they all give me at least 30,000 miles before dying and often that's after 100,000 miles of usage by other people? My maintenance costs are never more than about £500 ($750) over the year for any one particular car because if it costs that, it's cheaper to buy another car in the long run.

      I have no more reliability or service issues than any other car driver (in fact, probably a lot less) and I don't really c

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Rogerborg (306625)

        Mostly agree, but the market for used hybrids (at least in the US) remains strong, and I don't expect plug-ins to be different in the short to mid term.

        The Smug Poor want to flaunt their eco-credentials nearly as much as the Smug Rich, and it'll take a while before everyone knows someone whose cousin bought one of those damn electronical cars which then crapped its $7K battery all over the floor the next month.

        Of course, in civilised nations, if we want "eco", we buy a small turbodiesel returning 88 of

    • by tgd (2822)

      That's a good list. Did you furiously jackhammer that out on your keyboard when you saw there was an EV post on /. or did you have it ready to go and just cut in paste?

      (And, to be clear, the first sentance is serious, the second is mildly sarcastic.)

    • by roman_mir (125474)

      1. No electrical infrastructure to support these.

      2. All of the things you mentioned are true to a degree, that's what makes the market for these things so tiny right now.

      3. We need more nuclear power, small nuclear power right on board of these cars.

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        1 - there is electric infrastructure for these. even my podunk town has several electric car charging points. Problem is some moron in a Pickup truck or SUV is always parked in front of it. The city is doing a tow and impound on them starting this year, no tickets the police tow trucks just hook up and take your vehicle, so maybe that problem will fix it's self.

        2 - The real problem is true range and price. They claim 150 miles, I am betting real world is 1/2 that. Also the real price is over $40,000

        • by 0123456 (636235)

          "even my podunk town has several electric car charging points. Problem is some moron in a Pickup truck or SUV is always parked in front of it."

          Why should pickup drivers be forced to pay an EV driver's fuel bill?

    • by Tim4444 (1122173)

      You missed a few:

      <sarcasm>

      The electric grid can't handle any more load and there's too much government regulation preventing us from upgrading it.

      Using electricity in this country means burning coal and obviously it's much harder to mine coal and haul it by train across the country than it would be to extract oil from unstable countries, move it around the globe in a boat, refine it, then truck it to filling stations, and then for me to personally go get it every week or three. Oil is just so much

    • WRT point #5, what is the life of a Prius? My daily driver is nearly 30 years old, and I plan on driving it until I die or until I find one from '76-'77 that I like. My summer saily driver is nearly 50 years old and I'll be driving that until I die. I don't envision people driving a Prius in 50 years as I suspect the useful life is far less than that. It's a point A to point B until it dies cookie cutter car. Most new cars are not made to be serviceable. Look at how undersized critical componenets like tie

  • by JSBiff (87824) on Monday January 23, 2012 @10:29AM (#38791055) Journal

    It seems to me the problem with trying to create a new technology sedan for the "everyman" is that, in order to get "everyman" pricing, you need the kinds of economies of scale you just can't get when you make 10,000 or 12,000 cars.

    I think that GM made a huge mistake with the Volt. I love the idea of a volt - a plugin hybrid that uses electricity till it can't, then uses gas when necessary.

    The problem is, it seems they made a car with no glamour or mystique to it. If you're going to only make 10,000 vehicles and they are going to be more expensive than most people can afford, then just go ahead and make it a luxury car. The volt should have been a Cadillac, not a Chevy. It should have had lots of interior luxury and beautiful exterior that was to die for. Maybe it should have cost $50,000+.

    GM should have done everything it could to make it the year's "It Car", getting tv, movie, music and athletic celebrities, the children of the rich, and hipster-CEO's to buy it as a green conspicuous consumption item. Then, use those profits to ramp up the economies of scale. Meanwhile, the "average joe" sees all the "cool rich people" driving them, and maybe has increased desire for one of them.

    That seems to be the model that Tesla is pursuing. I think GM could have had more clout to get the Volt to be an "It Car" if they had pursued that strategy, but since they didn't, I wish Tesla luck.

    • GM only made the Volt, because the president of the USA ordered them to make it. One of the reasons president Obama fired Wagoner and replaced him with an aparatchik was because he refused.
  • by tp1024 (2409684) on Monday January 23, 2012 @10:30AM (#38791069)
    $3700 is the kind of price when people would be much less bothered whether a car can go for 600km or 60km. Qualitatively less performance on almost all counts for over twice the price of an ordinary car just doesn't make sense beyond the idealistic fringe with very deep pockets, trying to polish their better-than-thou attitude to the rest of the world.

    However, qualitatively less performance for a much smaller price of entry is justifable. Netbooks did this. Of course their performance rather laughable compared to a proper laptop - but you couldn't get laptop for $200. It satisfies the need of a basic mobile universal computer for a price below all other offers. The same would work for cars for a lot of commuters - it need not be all or even most. There are 300 million americans, even if it only appeals to 3 in 100 people, that's 10 mio customers.
    • by jeffmeden (135043)

      $3700 is the kind of price when people would be much less bothered whether a car can go for 600km or 60km. Qualitatively less performance on almost all counts for over twice the price of an ordinary car just doesn't make sense beyond the idealistic fringe with very deep pockets, trying to polish their better-than-thou attitude to the rest of the world.

      However, qualitatively less performance for a much smaller price of entry is justifable. Netbooks did this. Of course their performance rather laughable compared to a proper laptop - but you couldn't get laptop for $200. It satisfies the need of a basic mobile universal computer for a price below all other offers. The same would work for cars for a lot of commuters - it need not be all or even most. There are 300 million americans, even if it only appeals to 3 in 100 people, that's 10 mio customers.

      Generally you are right, but... Those in the US "trying to polish their better-than-thou attitude to the rest of the world" make up a staggeringly large percentage... Oh, and netbooks are dead.

      And lastly (on a more serious note) not everyone in the US has a car (far fewer can actually drive one,) and the typical run rate for cars is 6 million a year. Capture 3% of that market and you are moving 180k units a year. Sounds easy? Volkswagen (no slouch when it comes to marketing and diversity) does 300k in

  • "it has a fully-usable back seat"

    This is Slashdot. They probably think the back seat is for passengers!

  • I'd be very interested to know how much money this company took/was given by the federal government to get started.

    A range of 150 miles is suitable for someone that spends less than 3 hours a day driving, which includes many, many people - but how many of those people can afford a $37,000 (list price est.) sedan? With all the federal and state "gifts" (subsidies, loans, and grants) available to deploy charging stations at owner homes, apartments and stores/offices I don't think the "where are you gonna plug

  • They have a terrible looking electric car that can theoretically drive about 10 miles further per charge than its closest competitor (the Leaf), but is more expensive and unlike the Leaf which is primarily produced in Japan/USA it's produced in China/USA. Oh, and they introduce the car with showtunes.

    I get the feeling this CODA company isn't going to be around so much longer.

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      The leaf has less than a 70 mile range. this has been proven everywhere. These guys are claiming 150 mile range.

      • 150 miles is theoretical under idea circumstances. Nissan calculated the range theoretical range under ideal cicumstances at 140 miles. The 70 mile range for the Leaf is a (more realistic and generalized) calculation for the Leaf using a calculation defined by the EPA. I can't find any numbers from CODA where they note any calculations but their own.

        If they get 150 miles for the EPA calculation it will be impressive - but for a small no-name company to more than double the performance of a vehicle from mega

  • by bobs666 (146801) on Monday January 23, 2012 @10:36AM (#38791139)
    As long as we understand electric cars are powered by Coal! Until we figure out that that wind, water, corn, grass, and geothermal power will never meet the demand for powering our cars. That Nuclear power is the only practical green solution. Electric cars will not reduce pollution no there own. None the less electric cars do allow for alternative power solutions. And we will run out of petrol sooner or later.
    • by janimal (172428) on Monday January 23, 2012 @11:12AM (#38791583)

      Coal transport from mine to plant requires less carbon than oil from Saudi Arabia to the pump, plus refinement. Also, I'm not sure what the combustion energy effectiveness of a highly specialized generator turbines is, but I suspect it's a bit better than a pocket piston combustion engine that you'll find under your hood. Please consider city driving conditions for the combustion engine efficiency, because that's the niche for the new electric vehicles.

    • In the USA, 44% of our power is from Coal, and that is dropping fast. Less than 25% of our power comes from NG, with 20% from Nukes, 1% oil and the rest is AE.

      As such, electric cars are MUCH cleaner than oil to run. In addition, they use LOCAL fuel, as opposed to supporting terrorists.
    • Your state is not the same as ALL states. In fact many parts of the US have very little to no power at all coming from coal.
  • Their website shows it's $40,798 for a BASE MODEL.
    Come on, if you guys at Slashdot are trying to act like journalists, at least get some of your facts right.

    This car is a failure out of the gate. It's smaller than a honda civic and costs as much as a BMW 325i.

    Cut the price in 1/2 and there is where it has a chance of selling.

    • by JSBiff (87824)

      Which is exactly why I think everyone but Tesla is going about this wrong. The only way EVs are going to launch is as high-end luxury status symbols. Do that for a few years to begin to develop economies of scale, then try to down-scale the cars into the mid-range market around $25,000.

      Selling a car which has gas-equivalents at 2x the price, seemingly targeted at the average income family, makes no sense.

    • by Roblimo (357)

      They quoted "about $37000" to Tim at the auto show, and when I checked their website Saturday it showed $37,400. It seems to have changed since then. Interesting.

      I wouldn't mind having a low-power, very cheap electric car for in-town use. Think glorified golf cart, which is now being called a "neighborhood electric vehicle" (NEV) here in Florida, and is legal to drive on roads with low speed limits in some jurisdictions. To attract me, an NEV would need to be able to comfortably hold 45 mph into a headwind,

  • by janimal (172428) on Monday January 23, 2012 @11:04AM (#38791497)

    Premium price for truly crappy looks? How is that supposed to work? How would that look next to the stylin "long trip" vehicle in the driveway?
    The Prius is ugly enough as it is, but what's with the race to produce the worlds first paper bagger car?

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