It would appear that (apart from Tesla, for now) that any thing related to electric cars is going up in flames. From Fisker’s fubar (and blowing all that hard-earned government funding) and Chevy’s Volt dysphoria to A-123 Systems (the Lithium-Ion battery-maker) and now Coda – which Yahoo Finance notes was among an emerging crop of California startups seeking to build emission-free electric cars three years ago. After selling just 100 of its $37,250 five-passenger vehicles, Coda filed Chapter 11 today taking a few well-known investors with it. On the bright side, the government was not involved (from what we can tell), but on the even brighter side, none other than former US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson was among those burned by the company going up in flames (as was Harbinger’s Phil Falcone).
Despite the $300 million the company managed to raise, that quickly went and unable to raise an additional $150 million in new funding (we suspect blaming ‘market conditions’ for its mere $22million raise), Coda had no choice (and Fortress was more than happy to scoop it up and provide the DIP – the cars will make for fancy paperweights in a collateral liquidation). ‘Green’ is the new ‘red’ as it seems when it comes to electric cars, regardless of funding source – private or public – it goes up in flames.
Green car startup Coda Holdings Inc filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Wednesday after selling just 100 of its all-electric sedans, another example of battery-powered vehicles’ failure to break into the mass market.
… exit the auto sector and refocus on energy storage, a far less capital-intensive business.
A group of lenders led by Fortress Investment Group LLC (FIG.N) plan to extend debtor-in-possession financing and will seek to acquire the company for $25 million through the bankruptcy process, Coda said in a statement.
Coda launched its five-passenger electric car in California a year ago, delivering a range of 125 miles on a single charge. The $37,250 vehicle was criticized for its no-frills styling, and its short history also included a recall due to faulty airbags.
Investors poured money into the sector, and Coda raised $300 million in equity from backers including Aeris Capital, Limited Brands Chief Executive Les Wexner, and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. The company, however, in 2012 withdrew its request for $334 million in federal loans like the ones Fisker and Tesla received.
As the allure of EVs faded, Coda struggled to secure new private funding. Last year, Coda sought to raise $150 million but clinched just $22 million, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Coda has about 40 active employees and expects to recall 50 furloughed workers.