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Coda Battery Systems Wants U.S. Taxpayer Funds for Chinese Electric Car Imports

Company submits proposal to the Department of Energy to build a U.S. battery factory to help import a Chinese EV.

by on Jun.09, 2009

Coda Electric Sedan

Chinese maker Hafei will build the electric car.

The list of companies lining up for taxpayer dollars from  the U.S. Department of Energy increased today as  Coda Battery Systems LLC announced it had applied under a DOE stimulus grant program for funding to build a manufacturing facility in Enfield, Connecticut. The Coda Battery facility expects to employ 600 U.S. workers.

Coda Battery Systems is itself a joint-venture between Connecticut-based Yardney Technical Products, Incorporated and California-based Coda Automotive. The controversial part of the deal comes from Coda, which was just launched this month.

Coda says it will import to California by the fall of 2010 a four-door, five-passenger electric sedan built it manufacturing partner, Hafei, a state-owned Chinese manufacturer of automobiles and airplanes.

More Promises of Chinese Cars

Critics note that many plans for the importation of Chinese vehicles have been announced, but none have appeared thus far, as delays are always incurred.  It was not immediately clear how the Department of Energy would view the grant application. Thus far no such grants have been approved.

At first, the sedan will be sold with a battery system from a joint venture between Coda Automotive and Chinese-based Tianjin Lishen Battery Company, a large supplier of lithium-ion batteries. If the U.S. plant appears, batteries from it would be substituted to power the Chinese car.

Even here taxpayer subsidies would go the Chinese, since Coda intends to make Lishen part of the U.S. manufacturing joint venture. (more…)