Electric carmaker Coda Automotive Inc. and a partner have secured a nearly $300 million line of credit for the production of lithium-ion batteries at a facility in Tianjin, China, the company said Tuesday.
The automotive battery plant, which was completed in September, is the joint venture of Coda, a Santa Monica start-up, and Lishen Power Battery, a lithium-ion battery maker based in Tianjin, the sixth largest city in China.
Coda plans to sell its four-seat electric car in the United States. Final assembly would take place in California.
Coda Chief Executive Kevin Czinger said that the $294 million line of credit from Bank of Tianjin Joint-Stock Co. Ltd. was secured this month after the two partners put an additional $100 million in the joint venture.
Coda’s undisclosed portion of the $100 million equity injection came from remaining capital on hand and additional capital raised from its existing investors. Among its investors are Piper Jaffray Cos., clean technology investment firm Angeleno Group LLC and former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson.
The vehicle, also called the Coda, is expected to cost in “the low $30,000s” after state and local subsidies, Czinger said. That would be similar to what GM’s forthcoming Chevrolet Volt electric sedan is expected to cost after tax credits. The Coda is expected to have a range of between 90 and 120 miles on a single charge.
Coda expects to deliver 14,000 of the compact sedans between the fourth quarter and the end of next year despite its lack of a U.S. final assembly plant. Czinger said two California cities are vying to be the site of the plant, where the battery would be installed in the chassis, also to be built in China.
The 1 million-square-foot battery facility in Tianjin, northwest of Shanghai, has gone through manufacturing test runs and is on schedule to meet the company’s production goals, Czinger said. The company eventually wants to build a battery plant in the United States.
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