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USA: Upstarts plug into electric car market

WASHINGTON — Coda Automotive employs 41 people. It has a headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., but it doesn’t have its own factory. It doesn’t have its own dealer network. It doesn’t have a coterie of designers. Its chief executive, Kevin Czinger, a one-time college football star and former assistant U.S. attorney, has spent most of his career working in finance.

Yet Coda claims it will beat General Motors and other companies to market with an affordable, all-electric automobile built for the average American. This may not be a completely wild-eyed idea. Czinger was recently driving one of the prototypes — a plain-looking but smooth-running sedan — around the streets of Washington.

Inspired by the prospect of a new market for electric cars, Coda and other small entrepreneurial companies are tapping into the expertise of others in bids to launch new vehicle brands featuring technology they say will leapfrog the major manufacturers.



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