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CODA Automotive Battery Joint Venture Secures $394M of Committed Capital for Expansion

California-based electric car and battery company CODA Automotive (earlier post), together with its China-based joint venture partner, Lishen Power Battery, has secured $394 million of committed capital. The capital will enable the company to rapidly industrialize the all-electric CODA car’s power system for commercial volume production and support its ability to mass manufacture transportation and utility power storage battery systems.

In 2009, CODA, which had an existing long-term sourcing contract with Lishen (Tianjin Lishen Battery Joint-Stock Co., Ltd.) for lithium-ion batteries used in the CODA EV, established a global joint venture with Lishen to design, manufacture and sell transportation and utility power storage battery systems. Lishen is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of lithium-ion cells and a key battery supplier to industry leading companies such as Apple, Motorola, Samsung and Vodafone.

(In 2009 CODA also entered into a joint venture with Connecticut-based Yardney Technical Products, Inc.—CODA Battery Systems LLC—to design, manufacture and sell automotive-grade, lithium-ion battery systems in the United States. Earlier post. There is no direct connection between YTP and Lishen, according to CODA; the new funding will be applied only to the CODA-Lishen partnership.)

The CODA-Lishen joint venture—which will be branded soon—has secured $100 million in committed equity capital and has received a commitment for a $294 million line of credit from the Bank of Tianjin Joint-Stock Co., Ltd.

This capital strengthens the strategic position of our joint venture and allows us to meet the rising global demand for automotive-grade lithium-ion battery and utility power storage systems. The US and China face tremendous security and environmental challenges that we intend to address by combining our complementary capabilities and skills. This joint venture will accelerate the adoption of new energy technology while creating jobs in the US and abroad.

—Kevin Czinger, President and CEO, CODA Automotive

CODA Automotive is slated to begin deliveries of its all-electric car in the fourth quarter of this year. The CODA EV features a 33.8 kWh, 333V lithium iron phosphate pack with an 8-year, 100,000-mile warranty. Comprising 728 prismatic 14.5Ah Li-ion cells (104 in series by 7 in parallel), the pack powers a 100 kW (134 hp) UQM traction motor that develops up to 300 N·m (221 lb-ft) of torque.

The company is headquartered in Santa Monica, California and anticipates that it can deliver more than 14,000 vehicles to customers in California by the end of 2011. To date, CODA has raised in excess of $100 million in capital. Through its joint venture, CODA Automotive plans to establish battery manufacturing capacity in the US.


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