Santa won't be bringing EVs to everybody this year

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Electric vehicles from two automakers appear to have run into trouble this week, prompting concern from potential buyers.

Coda Automotive, which was due to launch its all-electric Coda Sedan in December, has reportedly pushed the sales date back by nearly a year, to the third quarter of 2011.

Last week, the California-based automaker endured a series of management departures and interim CEO Steven Heller told GigaOm that the new date will provide a "buffer" to ensure the quality of the car.

The news is a blow for the manufacturer, already viewed by some as an upstart compared to Chevrolet and Nissan.

Although one blogger was quick to ask of the Coda Sedan "will it ever really happen?," Nissan's all-electric vehicle appears to have hit some problems itself.

Various publications have reported that the company may not be able to provide as many vehicles in the coming month as it has expected - with some suggesting that some initial roll-out states may only be given a single car in the first month.

VentureBeat quotes Ray Ishak, a sales manager for a Seattle dealership, as saying that only five Leafs will arrive in the US next month, as Nissan is prioritising Japanese orders over US ones.

The report appears to be backed up by users of internet forums discussing the Leaf, where early buyers have posted that nearly every vehicle which had a December delivery date has been pushed back to January.

Nissan has described the reports as speculative, saying that it has delayed dealer demos to prioritise its first customers, although it did confirm that it intends to reopen reservations in 2011.

It has already delayed the launch in the Netherlands due to customer demand in the US and Japan, although no reports have surfaced of delays in the other European launch markets (the UK, Portugal and the Republic of Ireland).

With both automakers seemingly struggling to gain momentum, it was an opportune week for Ford to announce the initial markets for its Focus, which may well beat Coda to the streets now.

The first markets selected for Ford Focus Electric: Atlanta, Austin and Houston, Texas; Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, New York, Orlando, Fla., Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Portland, Ore.; Raleigh Durham, N.C.; Richmond, Va., Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

It will be available in late 2011 and offers a target range of up to 100 miles (160 km) on a single charge.

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