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Who’s Killing the Electric Car, Again?
Tesla Motors has become synonymous with electric cars. Elon Musk is often just called Tesla when people refer to him or the public tactics he uses to keep the company’s stock trading at 150 times its earnings. Tesla Motors has had one profitable quarter in 18 years, and that was a few years ago. Carbon credits, taxpayer subsidies, and grants have managed to keep the company in business, but just barely.
So, what’s going on? If electric vehicles are so great, then why is it impossible for them to get a foothold in the market? Of course, what people really want to know is what makes EV Fleet so different from the others.
In the automobile’s childhood, about 70% of the vehicles operating in major cities were electric. People really didn’t know what to expect in the way of performance for gasoline powered cars, trucks, and buses, but what they did know they didn’t like. They were loud, smelly, dangerous, unreliable, and there was hardly a women could even drive one without a man around to start the engine. Hardly a day went by that a woman didn’t break a wrist when the motor preignited against the hand crank, or had the hem of her dress torn away by getting it caught under the tension belt that was the early version of the one-speed drive.
The electric cars were quiet, and smooth, and safe to drive. Exide became one of the most sought after stocks on the market. Then, in 1912, the electric starter was invented. Then the muffler, and the multi-speed transmission, and diver compartments that were heated and could keep a person dry in stormy weather were included. Within 20 years, Detroit was the most advanced and wealthiest cities in the world. A year later, Roosevelt founded the Agency government that would grow from 20 departments to more than 650 more Agencies, Bureaus, and Administrations.
Roosevelt’s unabashed mission was simple; destroy competitors of the agency’s friends. So, for the next 84 years, that is exactly what it has done. The Department of Transportation doubled the cost of producing cars between 1970 and 1980. Then, they tripled the cost between 1980 and 1990. Then, they doubled it again between 1995 and 2005. Less than 20% of Americans can afford a new car, and less than 33% can qualify for a loan to buy one. Needless to say, the world’s most advanced and wealthy cities looks more like Damascus than Motor City, thanks to the Department of Transportation.
Which brings the question back to the technology known as the electric car. The Environmental Protectionist Agency has brought the entire industry to its knees with exorbitant fees, fines, and labeling requirements. We have cried out every single day to Congress and the White House for relief, but this one agency has blocked the electric light truck from reaching its customers. The EPA and the DOT have nearly killed the electric car, again.
With the exception of the batteries, EV Fleet can produce a light electric pickup truck for about a third of what a gasoline powered truck sells for. EVFI designed and built the first high-voltage air conditioning compressor, electric power steering, and electric heat that will keep you comfortable in the slowest traffic for more than 20 hours on a single charge. There are only 7 moving parts that drive the vehicle, and they will last without oil or water for more than 50 years. Rebuilding an EVFI electric motor is about $500 and takes as little as one day to complete. Have you paid for a gasoline engine rebuild lately?
Gasoline is cheap, for now, but the price swings as much as 70% in a single year. That is precisely why EV Fleet has focused on the commercial fleet customer. Fixing the cost of operation at very low number, and then improving the cash flow model by 300% are the keys to their successful business model. Their CONDOR all-electric cab and chassis can function as a pickup truck, people mover, or an endless combination of commercial truck bodies that will fit a standard 125” wheelbase. And it can do this at any speed up to 85 miles an hour at virtually any altitude in air-conditioned comfort.
It is the perfect solution for the commercial operator. With a range of about 200 miles a day, with opportunity charging utilizing the CONDOR’s onboard charger, it fits more than 90% of the commercial applications on the American road without burning a drop of gasoline or adding a single pound of new Carbon Dioxide to the environment. 95% of electric trucks recharge at night, when power plants are idling their surplus power away with nothing to show for it. The integral solar technology pioneered by EVFI keeps the batteries fresh for decades and can make the truck completely free to drive in some applications.
Tesla Motors survives on taxpayer subsidies simply because they chose the wrong business model. EV Fleet is ready to show the world why electric vehicle do make sense for the every-day, working company that uses light trucks in their business. One thing is for sure. Your competition is going to be using them sooner than you think. If you’re ready to add the cost of gasoline back to your bottom line, then you only need to answer one question. Are you ready for the change?
Letter to the President
The Environmental Protectionist Agency must be stopped. They have crushed the high-tech electric vehicle industry with onerous regulations such as the requirement for all “motor vehicles” to obtain a fuel economy label. This label is issued only by the EPA located only in Ann Arbor, Michigan at enormous cost in time and money to the car makers. The fines are $32,000 per vehicle that is sold without this label on the side window—yes, it is removed at the time of sale. For new technology providers like our Company, ready to hire 1,000 people to fill orders, this cost is unnecessarily insurmountable.
There is just one problem. Electric vehicles don’t have an internal combustion engine. They don’t have exhaust pipes. In fact, they have no emissions whatsoever. The EPA inserted itself with their 2008 Final Rule to protect the major car makers from competition. That, Mr. President, must end immediately.
So, on behalf of the only car maker in North Carolina, and the 1,000 jobs we intend to provide, I am asking you to help us by requesting the requirement for the Fuel Economy Label be ended immediately.
Brooks A. Agnew
CEO: EV Fleet, Inc.
EV Fleet Awarded Patent on its Breakthrough Electric Drive
After ten years of careful research and targeted design to very strict criteria, Brooks Agnew introduced a breakthrough innovation in electric drive design and application. The US Patent Office has accepted and approved the patent application for Dr. Agnew’s electric traction system that raised the bar for small pickup trucks and other vehicles requiring a multi-ratio traction system.
With a focus on simplicity being the crown of genius, the design solved the low-speed consumption of stored power under high-torque demand. It also solved the highway speed demands by setting a new standard for reduction of mechanical drag. The drag reduction improved the range of the vehicle by as much as 20% over previous designs.
The new CONDOR light electric pickup truck is the world’s only on-highway electric truck with a ten-foot wheel base. Its patented aerodynamics were designed to smoothly slice through the air with the resistance of a sports car, while preserving the storage and passenger comfort of a full-sized pickup truck. While providing a 100” long bed that is 65” wide, the CONDOR also provides secure and dry storage under the front hood. It is the first truck that is not a conversion of an existing truck, but rather is designed as an electric vehicle from the ground up. The CONDOR is the first truck to pass all FMVSS standards for crashworthiness as an electric vehicle.
The Company has secured written interest for more than 80 thousand units domestically and is confident that homologation in the European market will be forthcoming to meet demand there as well. Delays in delivery due to the unfortunate sanctions against Takata have been absorbed by the Company, and a new supplier for advanced airbags has been secured, ensuring deliveries in early 2018.
Condor Passes all Crashworthiness Tests With Excellent Margins of Safety
The CONDOR is the first on-highway, all-electric pickup truck. Period. Like everyone else, the engineers at EV Fleet, Inc. began their research by converting existing ICE-powered trucks to electric. The results are now academic, thanks to nearly ten years of road testing by their top engineers. First, converted trucks cannot reach the efficiency needed for acceptable range-per-dollar. That is to say, they are too heavy, and too slow to meet market demand. GM’s shadow company, VIA Motors, has been a complete disaster for the industry with its converted Chevy pickups. The CONDOR solves this problem by designing its own steel frame designed as an electric truck from the ground up. The battery “cages” are integral to the frame, and the roll cage allows high-tech, corrosion free body panels to be utilized. This produces a full-bed pickup truck that weighs less than 3,200 lbs dry with a payload of 1,000 lbs. That is the best in its class by almost 50%.
Second, converted ICE-powered trucks are not safe. The original design was unstable enough, with 70% of its weight balanced over the front wheels. ICE-powered pickup trucks are inherently prone to over-steering in wet and icy conditions, which has resulted in tens of thousands of traffic fatalities and billions in property damage. The CONDOR solves that problem with its race-designed steel frame. The empty stability of the CONDOR is equivalent to that of a NASCAR vehicle. The CONDOR is stable, nimble, and able to take a full-speed impact from all sides, including the roof, making it the safest vehicle in its class by a healthy margin, according to electronic test results.
Third, converted ICE-powered trucks are extremely expensive. The converter has to remove all the fuel-burning equipment and instrumentation. This not only means the engine and exhaust, but also means discarding the tanks, lines, wiring, computers, and mounts. Adding back a heavy battery package means additional braces, supports, and mounts have to be welded to the frame. The parts that are removed must be disposed of, including the oil, metal, plastics, and other chemicals. The frame must be sandblasted and retreated to resist corrosion. The frame must be retested for crashworthiness, as the weight and balance of the vehicle has been radically changed. The company must get a permit for EACH individual trucks from the EPA, as there was an IC engine associated with the VIN number. This applies even if the frame is imported with no engine installed. The process is expensive and time consuming. The CONDOR solves this problems by designing and building its own steel frame from the ground up as an electric vehicle. The frame is high-strength steel that is then powder coated for virtually endless corrosion resistance and produced at a fraction the cost of the converted truck frame.
Fourth, when the supply of pickup truck frames runs out, production must stop. The CONDOR is manufactured new from brand new high-strength steel and brand new corrosion-free polymer panels just like the semi-tractors that work hard from cost to coast. It never needs to be painted. Body panels can be repaired or replaced easily and inexpensively.
Fifth, ICE trucks are not aerodynamic. They require large radiator cooling areas that must be pushed through the air by the power plant. The CONDOR has no water cooling. There is no radiator, no hoses, no belts, no pumps and no heater core. The front end of the CONDOR is smooth and designed to slip through the air with almost no resistance. The inherent “throbbing” experienced by passengers when the vehicle reaches speeds greater than 40 miles an hour does not exist with the CONDOR. Both windows can be rolled down at speeds up to 85 miles an hour without the deafening wind noise and vibration experienced in all other trucks. Why? Because the CONDOR body was designed in a wind tunnel to move the air away from the sides of the truck, greatly reducing the drag. Not only does this extend the range to well over 100 miles, it also reduces the noise of driving. And, as a unique bonus, the CONDOR comes with a dry spacious, lockable trunk in the front of the vehicle. You no longer have to lock your book bag in the cab of the truck in plain view.
The only question now, is when are you going to fill out an interest form and get your own CONDOR, all-electric pickup truck?
EV Fleet electric truck news
EV Fleet CEO on building a highway-capable light-duty all-electric truck
Charged Magazine – February 2016
There are a lot of great opportunities for companies building EVs for niche markets, but getting an independent automotive startup off the ground is anything but easy.
EVs can be very practical from a financial point of view. So it’s a bit of a shame that for the world’s most practical vehicle buyer – the fleet manager – there are still not many options, particularly in the popular segment of small to mid-size vans and trucks. If a commercial application can’t be fulfilled with a passenger plug-in vehicle – like a LEAF or Volt – there are few other choices for a fleet buyer who is looking to reap the cash savings from driving on electronics.
Some major automakers have offerings for the commercial market, like Nissan’s e-NV200 van and, in Europe, Renault’s Kangoo Z.E. But for the most part, the large OEMs see the commercial market for small trucks and vans as too small relative to passenger cars. So when automakers decide to spend billions on electrification technology development, they’re focused on creating the next Prius-style success story. It will probably take another decade for the EV technology currently being developed for high-volume consumer EVs to trickle down to widely-available commercial trucks and vans of many shapes and sizes.
A few companies look at this reality and see a huge opportunity. For example, Charlotte, North Carolina-based EV Fleet, which has designed a highway-capable light-duty all-electric truck called the Condor, with a variety of bed options to meet the needs of many commercial customers. The company has spent the past few years using early prototypes to quietly build interest among commercial and municipal fleet operators, and it reports enough commitments to max out production for years to come. Charged recently connected with CEO Brooks Agnew to learn more about the potential market and the last obstacles the company needs to clear before starting full production.
Brooks Agnew: I’ve been in the auto manufacturing business my whole career, about 23 years, and in 2007 I decided to look into starting an EV business. Around that time I began to notice that all the small trucks (like the Toyota Tundra, Chevy S10 and Ford Ranger) were being discontinued by the automakers. And these were the trucks largely used in commercial fleets (carpenters, plumbers, electricians, delivery, municipalities and service vehicles of all types). Light trucks were very popular commercially because they’re more economical on fuel, cheaper to acquire and still very versatile. And yet, one by one those models went out of production and the car companies moved that customer base up to mid- or full-sized trucks.
there is a good operational model
into which electric pickup trucks would
As Detroit and Japan backed out of that market, I looked at it and thought, “Now there is a good operational model into which electric pickup trucks would fit perfectly.” And after two and a half years of test-driving our vehicles with all kinds of different potential customers, this is exactly what we’ve found. We listened to the voice of the customer and designed a truck that drives exactly like a gas-powered truck, and they’re very interested. The Condor was designed by our customers.
Charged: Can you tell us about the design and specifications of the Condor?
Agnew: Like many other new EV companies, we started doing gas-to-electric conversions. We thought it would be best if we could find someone to sell us gliders – a fully operational automotive frame with no engine or gas components at all. However, I found it nearly impossible to find a supplier. There were some options for importing them, but that was a time-consuming and expensive process, thanks to some EPA regulations. The only option for upgrading ICE chassis to pure electric drives was buy a new vehicle, strip it out, and turn it into electric. We quickly determined that the financial model wasn’t there for that type of operation.
Instead, we gathered the best racing minds together and started to design the Condor from the ground up as an electric truck. I’m pretty familiar with just about every major aspect of automotive manufacturing – I have been through the APQP process with many platforms. I became a Six Sigma Master Black Belt and coupled that with Lean Manufacturing skills over a 10-year period to develop a systemic approach from the beginning.
In 2013, we started by designing our own lightweight, high-strength steel frame. It has a 127-inch wheelbase, and is designed to protect the batteries in case of a collision, which makes the truck extremely strong. Also, one of the reasons small trucks went out of production is that the design was fundamentally unsafe. If there is no weight in the back of the truck, the vehicles had a tendency to oversteer – actually have the rear wheels lose traction at freeway speeds in wet conditions. Our design solved that inherent safety flaw, because we distributed the battery pack along the frame, so it maintains traction even when it’s empty. The Condor may be the safest small truck in America, partly because of its low center of gravity, so it will resist rolling over, and its evenly distributed weight, so it won’t get stuck, even in icy conditions.
The Condor has a fully independent suspension, 4-wheel disc brakes, and a minimum of 8 inches ground clearance. The clearance can also be adjusted up two inches by the owner if you have something like an off-road application. The drivetrain has 70 hp to the wheels and a 5-speed transmission. If you need to tow something, or climb a hill, you’ve got the torque to be able to do that, or if you want to do freeway driving up to 85 MPH, you’ve got the gearing to do that – all in the optimum torque band of the motor, which helps extend the range. The first thing drivers notice is that the acceleration is better than a gas-powered truck. I often say that we have a device that holds you in the seat – it’s called the motor.
We have two battery options: a 50 kWh pack for $49,900 and a 30 kWh pack for $46,500 (before tax savings). In our urban tests with continuous driving over 45 mph, we’re getting 120-135 miles per charge on the 50 kWh pack. That’s on what we would call normal city streets. For the 30 kWh pack, we’re seeing a consistent 60-70 miles per charge. The excellent range is due to the smooth body design that slips through the wind with drag coefficients more like a sports car. The patent-pending drive system is tough and extremely low on mechanical drag, making the coast-down numbers the best in its class. Once you reach the posted speed, it takes surprisingly little energy to maintain that speed.
For companies that do a lot of short trips, like car parts or flower delivery, utilizing a charger back at the depot for opportunity charging, the 30 kWh pack is a great option to reduce the upfront costs without compromising the performance at all. Since they’re never more than 25 miles from the shop, it works out perfectly.
The vehicles come standard with a 3 kW onboard charger for Level 1 or 2 J1772 charging, or we can upgrade it to 5 kW. All Condors come with both 120 V and J1772 ports so they can recharge anywhere. They are even equipped with built-in solar recharging, to keep the batteries topped off even when they’re not plugged in. The cargo cooler version with solar power stays cold all day, supported by free energy from the sun. We can also enable the vehicles to work with DC fast charging, however after years of test drives and talking to customers, we’ve never had someone interested in anything over Level 2. No one in the light truck fleet market seems to care about rapid charging. They’re happy not to be deep cycling the pack, and to use opportunity charging 4 or 5 times during the day in combination with overnight charging. That fits their operations model. The Condor also has the ability to transfer energy to another Condor in case of emergency.
We’re working with multiple suppliers for the batteries and the charging systems. Part of our design criteria was to create a generic battery space, so that we can fill it with the best battery technology at any time. That sort of competition makes sure the customer has the best available technology. We’re now using a state-of-the-art lithium iron phosphate battery that has great watt density. They’re designed to last about a decade in the vehicle and then be sold to the second-life market, recovering some of the customer’s investment in batteries. And our nearly bullet-proof motors are from a supplier in Chicago that builds them to our specs. With less than a dozen moving parts, the Condor may last a lifetime requiring very little maintenance. It uses no oil, water, or fuel. That’s why we say, “No grease, just lightning.”
Charged: Will the Condor be eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit when it goes on sale?
Agnew: Yes, as soon as it receives approval from the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) it will qualify for the $7,500 federal credit. The credit is based on a minimum battery size – which the Condor meets and exceeds – and only applies to vehicles that are capable of highway speeds – no problem for us with a top speed of 85 MPH.
Also, when designing the vehicle, we thought that sooner or later Washington would lose its appetite for this tax credit system and it would go away. So, we had to design a truck that could compete dollar-for-dollar (without tax incentives) in a 36-month period with a gas-powered truck. And that’s why we targeted $49,900 for the 50 kWh truck.
Charged: At what stage is the Condor in the FMVSS and crash-testing process?
Agnew: We finished crash-testing the vehicle structure in January of 2015. So, the truck is completely crash-worthy – rollover, side impact, rear impact, frontal impact. It was an iterative process. We crashed the truck, then made improvements and crashed it again until we had a good margin of safety. The cab has an integral steel roll cage that is far stronger and safer than any small truck ever built.
Our last step is to design and test the smart airbags in the two front passenger areas and side curtains. We were working with an airbag company that encountered a major recall part of the way through the process, so we had to change companies. That has definitely been a setback in terms of timeframe and costs. The price of airbag development essentially doubled when we switched suppliers, from about $4 million to almost $9 million. So, right now the only thing between our factory floor and customer deliveries is finishing airbag design and testing – a process that takes between nine and twelve months.
Airbag design happens in three phases. First the bags are designed electronically, that takes about two months. Then prototypes are physically sewn together and put into one of our cabs, which is bolted to a sled. At that point it’s not crashed but reverse accelerated at a very high rate, so the bags are deployed. That happens over and over again inside the cab with high-speed cameras recording, so the controller can be programed to unfold the bags in the optimal way for each test dummy style and position. Once that programming is done, which usually takes about 4 months, the finished truck is physically crashed containing the airbags. If the physical crash meets the simulation, then it’s considered compliant. They rarely have to do the full crash more than once for each approach, because the initial design steps are so comprehensive.
So we’ve already contracted the new airbag supplier, and we’re currently working on a new round of financing to cover the additional costs.
Charged: Are there other regulatory hurdles, beyond crash testing, that are particularly challenging for a startup EV company?
Agnew: There are several agencies involved, not the least of which is the EPA. You could ask yourself, why in the world would the EPA be involved in electric cars? It’s not really their space since there are no emissions, but, believe it or not, they still do the exact same testing as they would with a gas-powered vehicle – except they don’t have a tailpipe to stick the testing probe in.
The EPA has created a Fuel Economy Label for EVs that contains 14 indices that I think are meaningless to consumers, which is why they naturally ignore them. The label is expensive and takes months to obtain, because the EPA has only one testing station in the entire country. The application process was created for ICE vehicles, and has no provision for EVs. They don’t claim to know how to drive an EV, nor will they shift gears during their dyno testing process. And if they get it wrong and report a much lower range than the manufacturer claims, there is no appeal process.
In fact, one could say we already have a “fuel economy label” that’s very simple to understand, and tens of millions of Americans are already familiar with it. Every time you buy an electric appliance there is a yellow label on it that says, “This appliance costs approximately X dollars per year to operate.” And that’s the fuel economy label we have on our truck window, and it’s one everyone understands.
We are actually talking to Congress on a regular basis to try to correct the EPA process and hope the other EV producers will join us in trying to lift some of the misguided regulations that have prevented EVs from reaching a hungry consumer market. I would estimate that together, EV producers represent about 20,000 jobs that are badly needed in places like Charlotte.
Charged: Can you describe how you see the Condor fitting into the commercial fleet buying process?
Agnew: The way most fleets work is that they replace a certain amount of vehicles every year. As the trucks get a little over 5 years in age they look at the maintenance record and the mileage, and then send them off to the auction block, where they don’t get very much money back. Then they buy new vehicles.
These are the customers we’re talking to about getting our vehicles on the replacement schedule. Small orders at first: 5 to 10 trucks. Then, as they see those succeed at the application, during the next purchase cycle – usually six to nine months later – they’ll be more inclined to purchase more electric trucks: around 10 to 20. These numbers are based on the fleet operators that we’ve been working with to put together a 5-year schedule. We asked them, assuming success with the truck and a good service relationship, what amount of your gasoline fleet would you replace with a successful electric fleet? And the response has been incredible for a company our size. We’ve found very real interest both in terms of writing us checks and giving us letters of interest to reserve their spot in line.
We did a study with one national supply company that wanted to know the fuel cost reduction if they replaced 6,000 vehicles with electric trucks – that’s only a portion of their fleet – and it was in the neighborhood of $30 million in annual savings. So, electric trucks can clearly be compelling for a lot of fleet applications, and we can outfit the vehicle backend with a lot of different options for any use case – a box truck, refrigerator, freezer, flatbed, storage, etc.
Charged: Do you have any advice for other people who are thinking about starting an independent EV-related business?
Agnew: One of the hardest things to do in life is start a company, whether you’re starting a restaurant or a manufacturing business. The access to capital is as hard for one person as it is for another, and fundraising can be almost as hard as designing the products.
However, this is an exciting time for the EV industry. This is where the industry begins to break away from the restraints placed upon it by incumbent interests. If you think about it, the major automakers don’t care whether EVs come or don’t come. They’re still selling with the same tire smoking, sideways drifting car ads. If a major automaker sells you an EV, it just replaces an ICE car they already make. What keeps them dabbling in the market is the fear of missing out on the next big trend, and that trend is here.
Condor Power Steering Wins Driver Award
The Condor 100% electric pickup truck was compared to a Chevy Silverado 2WD, a Ford F-150 2WD, and a Dodge Ram 1500 (2WD) for ease of steering and parking. One of the most common complaints about power steering is the strain it places on the motor when it is idling. The Condor was reported to be slightly easier to turn the steering wheel by all drivers, and they all noticed that it was silent, even when the traction motor was not turning at all.
The Condor utilizes an Electric Assist Power Steering (EPAS), but the simple and elegant application by EVFI is what makes the difference. Not only is the turning radius smaller than its full-sized competitors, but it can be turned lock to lock with one finger. This really impressed the female drivers who prefer a truck to steer with greater comfort. It also makes the Condor extremely easy to park or to negotiate tight turns for quicker deliveries.
It is a fact that pickup trucks are inherently unstable on wet or icy roads when the truck bed is empty. Just ask someone who got stuck on a small incline of wet grass with a 2WD pickup truck that was empty. The Condor is amazingly stable, even when it is empty for several reasons.
First, the weight distribution is that of a race car, evenly balanced between all four disc brake wheels. This means that the fully independent traction of the Condor, even when it is empty, makes it nearly impossible to get stuck on a slippery incline.
Second, the strategic placement of the steel encased battery packs below the vehicle’s center of gravity makes the Condor far more stable under all weather conditions than its full-sized competitors. The superior handling of the Condor makes it safer to drive by avoiding accidents with nimble steering.
The Condor beats the competition in turning radius, stability, and cost to operate. Don’t delay. Schedule your test drive today.
Increased Incentives for Public Fleets in Disadvantaged Communities: Public Fleet Pilot Project
|Vehicle Type||Rebate Amount|
|Fuel-Cell electric vehicle|
|Battery Electric Vehicle*|
|Plug-in Hyrbid electric vehicle|
Administered by CSE for the California Air Resources Board, the Public Fleet Pilot Project offers up to $15,000 in rebates for the purchase of new, eligible zero-emission and plug-in hybrid light-duty vehicles. The Public Fleet Pilot Project replaces standard CVRP rebates with increased incentives for public agencies operating in California’s most vulnerable and pollution-burdened areas. This rebate is in addition to the federal regate of $7,500 already available to new vehicle buyers.
Whether your fleet is planning to acquire an eligible vehicle, has ordered a vehicle, or has already taken delivery of a vehicle, you can apply here to reserve rebate funds. Eligibility is based on the location of the facility where the vehicle will be domiciled and where it will be primarily operated.
Check your ZIP code in the tool provided to see if you are eligible. ZIP CODE CHECK If your fleet is not eligible for this pilot project, you may still be eligible for the standard CVRP rebates. Scroll down for a list of eligible vehicles and click the Apply Now button to get started. Contact CSE staff at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
*The EVFI Condor is a Battery Electric Vehicle.
Published on March 1, 2015, on WallStCheat Sheet.com by Eric Schaal.
Are Electric Pickup Trucks Ready to Report for Duty?
There is enough demand for short-range transportation that even EVs with a range of 80 miles sell in the tens of thousands annually in the U.S. North Carolina-based EV Fleet tops the range standard set by every electric vehicle other than Tesla with its Condor Electric Truck, the first pickup-size truck running with a zero-emissions tailpipe.
Published on Jan. 7, 2015 in The Charlotte Business Journal.
CLT Joules nominates entrepreneurs, innovators for energy awards
EV Fleet is among the nominees for the OPower Energy Innovation of the Year Award, as part of CLT Joules‘ first Energy Innovation Awards. Tom McKittrick, creator of ReVenture Park, where EV Fleet Inc. is headquartered, was nominated for BDO Entrepreneur of the Year.
Published on Nov. 1, 2014, on NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered.
With Electric Cars A Relative Success, Electric Trucks A Likely Next Step
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.
Published Sept. 29, 2014, on CharlotteObserver.com and Oct. 1, 2014, in The Charlotte Observer.
Charlotte startup rides electric-vehicle wave
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
Published Sept. 29, 2014, on WFAE, Charlotte’s NPR News Source.
Charlotte Company Hopes To Lead Electric Truck Revolution
Electric 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.
Published Aug. 27, 2014, on AutoEvolution.com: EV Fleet electric trucks news.
All-Electric Condor Truck Coming to Market this September
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).
Published Aug. 26, 2014 on InsideEVs.com: EV Fleet electric trucks news.
EV- Fleet Inc. Readies For 2015 Launch of 100 Mile Purpose-Built BEV Truck
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.
Published Aug. 9, 2014, in The Gaston Gazette: EV Fleet electric trucks news.
Eco-industrial park near Mount Holly gaining steam
By Michael Barrett
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.”
Published July 22, 2014, on GreenTechMedia.com
Forget the Death Spiral: Electric Vehicles Offer a Major Growth Opportunity for Utilities
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.
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.
Published March 9, 2014, on FoxNews.com
Obama proposes billions more in FY 2015 tax incentives for alternative energy vehicles
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.