• The Coda starts at $38,145 before tax incentives
  • The electric sedan's official range is 88 miles
  • For now, the Coda is only available in California

An all-new electric vehicle is officially on sale. California-based Coda recently announced that its fully electric 4-door sedan is now available to car shoppers in its home state with a base price of $38,145 including destination - only slightly more expensive than the electric Nissan Leaf hatchback.

According to Coda, whose sedan will be sold without a model name and simply called, "the Coda," the new EV also qualifies for tax rebates of up to $2,500 in California and $7,500 from the federal government. That gives the Coda an effective base price of just $28,145 for Californians, which is competitive with the Leaf after rebates are considered.

The Coda offers a surprisingly potent fully electric motor capable of producing 134 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque - a significant boost over the Leaf's 107 horsepower and 206 pound-feet. According to the federal government's Environmental Protection Agency, the Coda sedan can travel up to 88 miles on a single charge, which further trumps the Leaf's official range of just 73 miles.

In addition to a strong electric motor and extended range, the Coda offers several luxurious standard features including a navigation system and a 7-inch center-mounted touchscreen display. According to the automaker, the sedan's lithium-ion battery pack can be fully recharged in just six hours using a 240-volt charger, which beats the Leaf's charge time of around eight hours using the same voltage.

Often viewed as an underdog among more established electric vehicle manufacturers like Nissan, Chevrolet and even Tesla, Coda was founded in 2009 and immediately began development of its sedan. While initial deliveries were planned for late 2010, the automaker pushed back the sedan's on-sale date several times to ensure the vehicle's quality. Although the Coda is assembled outside of San Francisco in Benicia, California, the sedan's body and batteries are manufactured in China.

Coda says EV shoppers interested in test-driving the sedan can do so at one of its "Experience Centers" located throughout northern and southern California. The automaker has not yet announced when the sedan will be distributed to customers outside of the Golden State.

What it means to you: The Coda could provide a reasonable alternative to the current crop of better-known electric vehicles.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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