The U.S. Department of Energy is being criticized for lending large sums of money to companies that went on to fail, like Solyndra, or appear to be on the cusp of failure, like Fisker Automotive (see “Why Tesla Survived and Fisker Won’t”). But here’s a company it turned down, and for good reason.
Coda Automotive, the maker of an entirely non-descript electric car that it had hoped people would pay $45,000 for, asked for loan money but didn’t get it. It declared bankruptcy today, suggesting that, in fact, people wouldn’t pay for it.
The company was pretty clearly a long shot from early on (see “A Startup’s Electric Sedan May Be First on the Road”). At one point it had a slim chance of beating the major automakers to market with an electric vehicle. But there was little to distinguish the company’s vehicle, certainly not enough to make them take a chance on an unknown automaker.