Coda Automotive, which plans to commercially sell an all-electric car later this year, has announced plans to construct its battery manufacturing plant in Columbus, the Columbus Dispatch reported today.

The plant would create an estimated 1,000 jobs.  However, Coda announced that it is relying on being awarded financing by the U.S. Department of Energy for much of its plant’s start up costs.  The State’s Controlling Board must also approve an incentive package as well.

Kevin Czinger, Coda’s chief executive, views the battery as the most important technology in the vehicle. The debut sedan will have a range of up to 130 miles on a single charge.

“We are looking at this not as a new-car-model introduction, but as a new-technology introduction,” he said, speaking earlier this month at Ohio State University.

Czinger, a Cleveland-area native, has said his company will be the first to market with a “real, safe, affordable electric car.”

Of course, conservatives will rip the use of incentive packages as corporate welfare that gets in the way of the tax cuts they’d give as corporate welfare instead.

The fact of the matter is that the start up costs is a huge barrier of entry in the automobile industry and it’s fool hardy to believe that the government should have no role to encourage entry of new participants in the marketplace because they would arise naturally through entirely private financing.

The inability of new automobile producers to enter the market and challenge the GMs and the Fords of the world is what created the companies that were deemed to big to fail like…. GM.

I’d rather see tax dollars go to create new jobs to a new and technologically innovative automobile company than to bailout out a less innovative, arrogant, but vital to the automobile supply food chain company like General Motors.

Maybe Tom Ganley will trade his Cash for Clunkers record and open up a Coda dealership…

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  • Foraker

    I'd rather see the state invest in mass transit than continue to support the auto industry, whether combustion-based or electric.

    Even if we can find a way to sustainably power electric vehicles, we've already shown an inability to keep up with maintenance on our bridges and roadways.

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