Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bay Area Scores Second Electric Car Maker

The Bay Area has secured its second electric auto manufacturer, with the Monday announcement that electric car start-up Coda Automotive has selected Benicia as the location for final assembly facility for its cars.

The Santa Monica-based Coda signed a deal with auto processing firm Amports to have the electric cars processed at the 140,000-square-foot Amports Benicia Terminal, located about 30 miles north of the Port of Oakland.

While the financial details of the Benicia deal were not released, it was indicated that it carried a term of three years.

Expected to create about 50 jobs, the Amports facility will receive an estimated 10,000 to 14,000 nearly completed Coda cars in containers from China via the Port of Oakland. Major drive-train components, including the battery system, will be installed by Amports technicians at the Benicia facility.

The roughly $45,000 – before government incentives – four-door electric sedans generate zero tailpipe emissions and have a range of up to 150 miles on a full charge. The car is largely built in China with parts from more than 30 countries, including a 35 percent made-in-America content.

The city of Los Angeles had also been vying for the Coda work, but Coda officials said they went with Benicia mainly to take advantage of the Amports facility and the experience of the Amport workers in final assembly.

Los Angeles also lost out to the Bay Area early last year when electric carmaker Tesla Motors purchased the former NUMMI manufacturing facility in Fremont instead of several potential sites in Southern California.