Battery System and Electric Car Manufacturer CODA Closes Oversubscribed Series

CODA, a California-based designer and manufacturer of battery systems and electric cars, announced today the close of a $58 million Series C investment round, increasing total invested capital to more than $125 million. The round, initially capped at $50 million, was increased to accommodate strong investor demand. Aeris CAPITAL, a private Swiss investment office, led the round, with participation from new investors EDB Investments (EDBI), a leading investment firm headquartered in Singapore; Countyline LLC, an investment entity owned by Tony Pritzker and J.B. Pritzker; and Les Wexner, Chairman and CEO of Limited Brands. Existing investors Thomas F. Steyer, Mac Heller, Miles Rubin, John Bryson and Angeleno Group also participated.

Funding will be used to support the market entry of CODA’s all-electric sedan and to commercialize production of CODA’s transportation and utility application lithium-ion battery systems within Lio Energy Systems, CODA’s battery system manufacturing joint venture with Lishen Power Battery. The joint venture has entered into cooperation agreements with Bank of Tianjin Joint-Stock Co. for up to $327 million of long-term credit, in addition to receiving a $100 million equity capital commitment from CODA and Lishen, for an aggregate capital commitment of up to $427 million to the joint venture.

CODA also announced that it will establish an office in Singapore to serve as the design and engineering center for the development and homologation of CODA electric vehicles for right-hand drive markets in Europe and Asia. CODA’s Singapore office will participate in the company’s research and development efforts into vehicle-to-grid technology, a system in which electric vehicles communicate with the power grid to provide electricity during peak demand periods.

"The continued interest in CODA among the investment community is a testament to the strength of our business model and go-to-market strategy," said Kevin Czinger, President and CEO, CODA. "We welcome EDBI to our team and look forward to working closely together to bring all-electric cars to Singapore and other international markets. While CODA remains focused on the U.S. introduction of our all-electric car this year, international markets, particularly in Asia and Europe, are important to the long term strategic positioning of our company."

"Energy storage and E-mobility are key cleantech sectors that EDBI has a strong interest to grow in Singapore. With increasing adoption of innovative technologies to meet clean energy and environmental protection mandates in many countries’ urbanization drives, there is high growth potential for these sectors in Asia. CODA is well-positioned to be the leading company in these fields. With our strong networks and expertise, EDBI looks forward to partnering CODA with its new design and engineering center in Singapore to realize the full potential of this industry," said Chu Swee-Yeok, CEO EDBI.

Headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., CODA™ is working to reduce dependence on oil and is leading the way to a cleaner future by designing and manufacturing advanced battery systems for its 100% electric cars, other electric vehicle manufacturers and utility applications such as wind power storage. CODA is working in a smart, interdependent way with more than 30 leading global technology and manufacturing companies across four continents to quickly and efficiently bring electric drive technology to market.

Through its exclusive battery system joint venture with Lishen Power Battery, Lio Energy Systems™, CODA is also a large-scale manufacturer of power battery systems for transportation and utility applications. CODA is slated to begin delivering its all-electric car in the fourth quarter of this year and anticipates that it can deliver more than 14,000 vehicles to customers by the end of 2011. The CODA sedan is a four-passenger, mid-size car with full rear seating and trunk space that is designed to meet American drivers’ daily transportation needs without using an ounce of oil.

aeris CAPITAL is a private Swiss investment office, advising a high net worth individual and his foundation, which is one of the largest charitable foundations in Germany. As such, aeris CAPITAL is active in all asset classes globally. Operating from a sustainable asset base and with a long-term horizon, aeris CAPITAL is focusing to achieve the highest quality standards in all its investment activities, delivering superior risk adjusted returns.

EDB Investments ("EDBI") is a leading investment firm headquartered in Singapore with a worldwide presence. EDBI invests globally in innovative and dynamic sectors of Biomedical Sciences, Clean Technologies and Digital Media, as well as key industries in Singapore. As a value-adding investor, EDBI works closely with its portfolio companies, leveraging its extensive networks and experience to help bridge and drive the companies’ growth strategies for Asia. 

Angeleno Group is a leading Los Angeles based private equity firm focused on high growth investments in alternative energy and energy-related companies. Founded in 2001, AG invests broadly across the energy industry to support innovative, well managed, rapidly growing companies. Areas of particular interest include advanced generation, energy intelligence and control, clean transportation, renewables, transmission and distribution, power storage, and energy efficiency and conservation technology.