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Coda starts motoring with up to 150-mile range EV

Coda Holdings starts production of its electric sedan priced at $39,900, excluding $10,000 off in U.S. and California incentives, and boosts its battery warranty to 10 years.

A Coda Holdings prototype sedan. Martin LaMonica/CNET

Coda Holdings has begun production of its all-electric sedan, which will sell for $39,900 before subsidies and can go up to 150 miles on a charge, the company said today.

The Coda sedan will be available in California as a 2012 year model. Buyers can receive a $7,500 federal tax credit and a California rebate for $2,500. Together, the subsides bring the price down to $29,900.

The car itself looks like a typical five-seat sedan, but Coda is trying to distinguish itself from other electric vehicles with its battery system. The company had originally planned to sell the car for about $45,000 and release it at the end of last year.

The batteries will have a 10-year, 100,000 mile warranty, and the battery pack will allow for up to 150 miles. In terms of range, that's substantially more than the Nissan Leaf or the Ford Focus Electric, which have a range of closer to 100 miles. The actual range on battery-powered cars varies substantially based on temperature and driving style.

The Coda car has an active thermal management system, which is designed to improve the battery life and capacity, and it has an on-board 6.6 kilowatt charger. That means it takes six hours for a full charge, four hours for 100 miles, and two hours for 50 miles, according to Coda Holdings. The motor provides 134 horsepower and has a top speed of 85 miles per hour.

Coda Holdings itself is based in Los Angeles with production of the body and battery systems done in China.

Although it boasts a longer range than the Focus Electric and Nissan Leaf, the Coda is comparable on price. The Focus Electric costs just under $40,000 and the Leaf starts at $35,200. In a statement, CEO Phil Murtaugh said Coda Holdings "dedicated this year to increasing efficiencies in order to bring down costs."

Below is a video of former CEO Kevin Czinger talking with CNET in April 2010 about the Coda sedan.