With Electric Cars A Relative Success, Electric Trucks A Likely Next Step

Published on Nov. 1, 2014, on NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered.

Despite all the promise and publicity, electric cars still make up less than one percent of all U.S. car sales. But that’s enough to motivate some entrepreneurs to work on the next challenge – electric trucks. For member station WFAE in Charlotte, North Carolina, Ben Bradford reports on one such startup with 13 employees and very high hopes.

Listen to the full report on NPR.org.

Charlotte startup rides electric-vehicle wave

Published Sept. 29, 2014, on CharlotteObserver.com and Oct. 1, 2014, in The Charlotte Observer.

The Condor is a strategic response to what Brooks Agnew said he didn’t see on the market – pickup trucks built with motors that ran on energy stored in batteries and no gas components. Yet the Condor’s creation comes just as analysts question the long-term viability of the nascent electric vehicle industry

Read the full report with photos and video.

Charlotte Company Hopes To Lead Electric Truck Revolution

Published Sept. 29, 2014, on WFAE, Charlotte’s NPR News Source.

Condor_PrepElectric cars were largely novelties until Tesla introduced its Roadster in 2008. Now, a few small start-ups are trying to repeat Tesla’s success in another sector of the electric vehicle industry. They’re building trucks, hoping to sell them en masse to government and business fleets. Read or listen to the full report here.

 

All-Electric Condor Truck Coming to Market this September

Published Aug. 27, 2014, on AutoEvolution.com: EV Fleet electric trucks news.

Farmers and fleet owners, gather around and take a look at the first all-electric light pickup truck you can buy this year. It’s called the Condor and it will arrive on market next month.

It might look like a shed-built weekend project, but the thing is real and the company that makes it, EV Fleet, claims it could build 15 units per day, summing up to 300 per month, each for the starting price of $50,000.

Don’t panic about the steep price, because it will benefit from incentives. The stock cab and chassis come fitted with an independent adjustable suspension, all-around disk brakes, insulated cabin and air conditioning.

Power is supplied by a 32 kWh or a 50 kWh battery pack. The neat thing is that you can manage the power use, by programming the 0-60 mph acceleration times for example, which can be achieved in 5 to 12 seconds. Same goes with the top speed, which can be set to a maximum of 85 mph (137 km/h).

Read the full report here on AutoEvolution.com

 

EV- Fleet Inc. Readies For 2015 Launch of 100 Mile Purpose-Built BEV Truck

Published Aug. 26, 2014 on InsideEVs.com: EV Fleet electric trucks news.

In March 2013, Forsite Development launched ReVenture Park, a 667 acre location of a former chemical die complex in Mt. Holly NC. The land was previously deemed contaminated enough to be placed under federal Superfund for cleanup in 1983. Forsite Development succeeded in having the property accepted into the NC Brownfields Program. This program allowed new occupants to operate without being held responsible for previous contamination.

Another aspect of the ReVenture Park project is to be able to offer incentives to green startups. The complex has an abundance of inexpensive industrial space available to emerging green-energy companies.

One such company is EV-Fleet Inc.

InsideEVs met with Regional Sales Manager, Stewart Mallard and CEO/Engineer Brooks Agnew, who shared the following. EV Fleet Inc (EVFI) is currently taking orders for the 2015 Condor light weight BEV truck. EVFI will launch to the public on Sept. 18, 2014, at Optima Engineering by invitation in Charlotte NC.

Initially EV Fleet has the capacity to manufacture 15 trucks per day or 300 per month. EVFI will first launch in North Carolina, home of their assembly facility.

Read the full post on InsideEVs.com.

Eco-industrial park near Mount Holly gaining steam

Published Aug. 9, 2014, in The Gaston Gazette: EV Fleet electric trucks news.

 

By Michael Barrett

EV Fleet Brooks Agnew shakes hands with NC Gov. Pat McCrory during the opening of ReVenture Park.

EV Fleet’s Brooks Agnew shakes hands with NC Gov. Pat McCrory during the Aug. 7 opening of ReVenture Park.

The Gaston Gazette
The firm that has been working to redevelop a contaminated industrial site near Mount Holly says it now has 10 companies operating there. Those consist of start-up businesses and pilot projects that employ a total of 40 to 45 people. Officials say they are demonstrating the potential of ReVenture Park to further attract economic development and create more green energy jobs in the future.

“It’s becoming an entrepreneurial incubator,” said Tom McKittrick, president of Forsite Development, a commercial real estate firm redeveloping the site. “Our goal from the beginning was to take a shuttered manufacturing plant that has very heavy infrastructure and reposition the buildings to create recycling-based projects.

“Now five years later, it’s starting to come together quickly.”

The strides at ReVenture Park were recognized Thursday (Aug. 7) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It awarded an Excellence in Site Reuse award for officials who redeveloped the former Superfund site into the region’s first eco-industrial park.

… Another ReVenture tenant, EV Fleet, has developed the first highway-ready, light-duty electric pickup truck capable of accelerating to 60 miles an hour in about 5 seconds.

The company is beginning to take orders for the new 2015 Condor and expects to be manufacturing in the near future with 20 to 30 trucks per day, McKittrick said.

“They have 12 employees and will have double that in the next 60 days,” he said.

EPA Deputy Director Franklin Hill presented the gold plaque for excellent in renewing a former super-fund site and agreed to push for licensing of a Charlotte testing lab for electric vehicles to help lower the cost of development for EV Fleet. McKittrick said the EPA award is gratifying and demonstrates ReVenture Park is finally cresting the hill. He sees it continuing on the momentum it has built.

“It’s been a long, uphill battle, but we can definitely say the site is being put back to productive use and promoting the clean-energy economy,” he said. “I’m having conversations literally every week with other companies interested in locating here.”

Read the full report on The Gaston Gazette.

Forget the Death Spiral: Electric Vehicles Offer a Major Growth Opportunity for Utilities

Published July 22, 2014, on GreenTechMedia.com

Elias Hinckley argues that utilities can benefit by taking oil’s share of the transportation market.

Energy use in the U.S. can be split into two large pies. One pie is electricity use in homes, buildings and industry. The other is transportation, which is powered primarily by liquid fuels like gasoline and diesel.

There are some exceptions, as well as a few overlapping categories of fuel use. For example, there’s direct industrial use of liquid fuel (a fairly significant quantity), some liquids burned to make electricity (this used to be a significant amount, but is now only a very small amount), and now a very small amount of electricity used to power electric vehicles (EVs).

American consumers spend, on average, more than $1 billion every day on each of these energy uses. Electric utilities have never made a serious effort to attack the transportation market at scale. Historically, this made sense. Transportation infrastructure was built around liquid fuels and there was no viable electric-drive alternative. Within the past few years, a technological transformation has occurred in the electric vehicle sector. The possibility of a utility taking a piece of the oil companies’ market share is becoming much more likely.

There are now better batteries, faster charging options and proven EVs on the road. Virtually every auto manufacturer is building a full electric or plug-in hybrid model. This evolution has happened independently of the electric utilities. Aside from rolling out a handful of charging stations or the occasional plan for how to manage large amounts of EVs on the distribution network, utilities have been little more than observers to this evolution.
Fighting the wrong battle?

There is an opportunity right in front of utilities. Yet the industry seems more focused on the threat of distributed energy and the possibility of a utility death spiral. The risk to utilities is real. A combination of distributed energy, energy efficiency, changing behavior and weak economic growth has resulted in virtually no growth for new electricity demand since 2008. That will force higher rates for each unit of electricity sold, which in turn will make the alternative technologies more attractive and accelerate consumer adoption.

Read the full report on GreenTechMedia.com.

Elias Hinckley is a strategic advisor on energy finance and policy to investors, energy companies and government agencies. An energy and tax partner with the law firm Sullivan and Worcester, he helps his clients solve the challenges of a changing energy landscape.

Obama proposes billions more in FY 2015 tax incentives for alternative energy vehicles

Published March 9, 2014, on FoxNews.com

The White House is proposing billions in additional tax incentives in fiscal 2015 for buyers of alternative-energy vehicles and others involved in the industry, according to a new Treasury Department report.

Among the biggest proposals is extending the 30 percent tax credit for Americans who invest in properties involved in advanced-energy products, including facilities that store energy for electric or hybrid-electric vehicles.

The government argues the $2.3 billion already allocated under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has resulted in roughly just one-third of eligible applicants receiving funding and that an additional $2.5 billion in credits should be authorized to meet the need.

A Treasury Department spokeswoman last week pointed to at least four major tax credits or incentives in the agency’s 297-page report.

President Obama since taking office in 2009 has made at top priority of helping U.S. companies involved in the production of “green” or alternative energy, largely to help reduce the country’s dependency on foreign oil.

Though Obama has said he backs an “all of the above” approach to domestic-energy production, he has faced sharp criticism for regulating the fossil fuel industry and most recently not approving the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline.

Read the full report here on FoxNews.com.