Talk about your Black Friday deals! The electric car company CODA Automotive has announced that it will provide a free GE WattStation™ Wall-Mount home charging station to California residents who purchase a 2012 CODA all-electric car, from now until December 2. That’s about $2,000 worth of free EV charger on top of what CODA estimates is up to $10,000 worth of state and federal tax incentives for EV owners. Meanwhile, the rest of us non-residents are left to wonder: what’s California got that we ain’t got?
CODA’s Free EV Charger
First, the good news (for Californians, that is). CODA is making the free EV charger as hassle-free as possible. In addition to the free hardware, the deal includes everything that would be covered in a standard installation for a home EV charging station.
Instead of making customers shop around for an installer, CODA has already lined up an installation company, the aptly named Mr. Electric. To fall under the standard installation package, the home’s electrical service panel has to have enough space and capacity for a new circuit, among other things.
There’s also a property value benefit involved. And CODA calls attention to a survey showing that 91% of all EV owners in California install home charging stations, making a home EV charger part of a home’s future sales appeal.
Why Buy a CODA?
CODA has been rolling out the incentives this fall, as the free EV charger follows close on the heels of a free fuel giveaway.
That promotion consisted of a $552 rebate, which under current electricity rates is about equal to the cost of recharging a CODA 5-door sedan for 10,000 miles worth of driving.
As for why buy a CODA, that’s pretty much the same reason for buying any EV from a reliable company, which CODA senior VP Thomas Hausch sums up quite neatly: “to avoid high gas prices forever.”
Aside from the basic EV commonalities, CODA earned a good review from Popular Mechanics last year even when it was still only in the pre-production phase. The production version got a heap of glowing praise from autoguide.com in September, especially for its battery range.
The CODA 2012 EV is officially rated at 88 miles per charge but according to the company (and autoguide.com), in real driving conditions it can get much more, up to 125 miles per charge. Either way, that’s well within the range of commuting and local errand-running.
As a side note, CODA’s business plan eschews the traditional capital-intensive manufacturing model in favor of a network of development partnerships. That provides the company with more flexibility and the potential to grow even if sales volume is relatively low.
What About the Rest of Us?
California gets the goodies based partly on the sheer size of its market and the enthusiasm that Californians have for cleaner vehicles, and partly on the support of California voters for transitioning to cleaner vehicle technology.
As for the rest of us, earlier this month the U.S. voting public re-elected the presidential candidate who spent his first term vigorously supporting national clean energy programs and launching new initiatives designed to make new clean technology more affordable to the average consumer.
One of his early initiatives was to establish a network of advanced battery manufacturers in Michigan and elsewhere. That’s a critical link in the EV supply chain and an important step toward building a robust, domestic EV marketplace for all 50 states.
With cooperation from Congress, expect more of the same over the next four years.
Image (cropped): Courtesy of CODA, via prnewswire
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Tina Casey specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. You can also follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.