Electric car maker to open Benicia assembly plant


Jobs and green tech are two words we've heard a lot about lately and one company hopes to bring both to the Bay Area.

In a city that refines 10 percent of California's gasoline electric car manufacturer CODA is opening a new assembly plant. The cars are not hybrids, but 100 percent electric.

"It runs only on domestically-produced electricity which is becoming cleaner and cleaner, especially in California," said CODA CEO Phil Murtaugh.

In Benicia, CODA will partner with Amports, a company that makes car processors. CODA already has 200 employees in Los Angeles and with the new assembly plant, expects to bring at least 50 new jobs to the Bay Area.

"Not only will we have the 50 jobs that are projected for the assembly of the car, but we will also have secondary businesses that will support that effort," said Benicia Mayor Elizabeth Patterson.

The CODA EV Sedan is an all-electric car that's set for delivery in California in the next few months. According to the manufacturer, the car travels 150 miles per charge, seats five people comfortably, and will cost about $35,000, after federal and state tax credits.

"At a time when America is fixated on the idea of jobs immediately and jobs in the future, it really is through the kind of innovation that CODA brings in this case to the transportation field, but that innovation is what's going to drive the jobs," said Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez.

CODA claims their product represents the ultimate in green tech.

"This car that we've developed has completely zero emissions at the tailpipe. It will give folks an opportunity to take action to reduce their environmental footprint, without forcing them to make unnecessary sacrifices," said Murtaugh.

The manufacturer estimates that it costs just 3 cents a mile to drive their sedan. The CEO announced Monday that they are going to open their first Northern California showroom soon in the Bay Area, though they won't say exactly where it is yet.

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