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Carbon Motors E7  (Source: Carbon Motors)
Please sir, may we have $300 million?

The push to move the U.S. to newer technology cars and trucks that are more efficient in fuel consumption and produce fewer emissions is focused heavily on the consumer segment of the industry. In many areas, some of the most fuel consuming and polluting fleets are those for public service workers like law enforcement. 
 
A company called Carbon Motors is soliciting the government for a loan to help it produce the first vehicle in the country specifically designed for police officers. In a letter to the members of President Obama's cabinet, the company outlines its need for a $300 million loan.
 
The letter reads in part:
 
Over two years ago, Carbon Motors filed an application for a loan of over $300 million with the Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) program. The ATVM direct loan program was established in a bi-partisan manner by the Bush Administration and has been carried on by the Obama Administration.
 
We have secured a mothballed automotive facility located in a town with unemployment at rates significantly higher than the national average – Connersville, Indiana – a victim of the fallout of automotive industry at the end of the last decade. With the ongoing criticisms aired concerning the U.S. Department of Energy's loan guarantee programs and the ATVM direct loan program, our country faces a critical decision now that will have significant impact on our first responders, taxpayers, environment, highways, our manufacturing employment base and the security of our homeland.
 
Carbon Motors is seeking the funds in order to produce its E7 police vehicle. The car is designed to be functional, safe, and fuel-efficient. The car has a turbodiesel engine with 300hp and 420 lb-ft of torque and is specified for a durability span of 250,000 miles. The cockpit of the car is ergonomically designed for comfort and to fit all the duty gear an officer needs for the day. The car has a radiation-, chemical-, and biological-threat detection capabilities.
 
The E7 also steps up monitoring capabilities by including a 360-degree exterior surveillance for audio and video. The car is also designed with 180-degree interior rear compartment audio and video recording for the rear compartment of the vehicle. The car can be had with an optional license plate detection system and optional integrated ballistic protection.
 
The company claims the car will be safer for police officers, produce less pollution, and save money on fuel as well. Carbon Motors is likely seeing delays in a verdict on its loan application due to the third-party review process that green government auto firms are going through.

Source: Carbon Motors



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RE: Are people waiting for this?
By Sazabi19 on 12/19/2011 2:44:23 PM , Rating: 5
I worked for the Sheriff's Dept. here in Indianapolis and the car was received well. When this vehicle was just designed they started sending out videos and emails to LE agencies and the buzz of MCSD and IMPD were both very positive about this vehicle. The list of features of these (even standard) are incredibly practical for LE use and seemed to be rather robust if the claims were true. A lot of depts. have moved to chargers because they have better gas mileage and still serve as a useful and roomy enough vehicle for officers. Depending on the price of these vehicles they could see good savings on fuel IF diesel prices go down. These are tailored to LE use have all the lights built in and things are easily changeable. The back seats are plastic with molded contours for the offender's hands to be in handcuffs in the proper position and buckled. Since they are plastic they are very easy to rinse with a hose as well (the front seats are not plastic). With the light bar pretty much gone that will also make these cars more aerodynamic having them built into the pillars and frame of the vehicle. I personally think depending on the price it will be quite well received.


RE: Are people waiting for this?
By jimbojimbo on 12/19/2011 2:56:32 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure police departments would want this vehicle but the true question is how many can afford it? What's going to be the retail price on this thing? Do police officers necessarily want all the features and pay the substantial sum for them?

After this loan every police department is going to request loans to buy one or two of these things.


RE: Are people waiting for this?
By Sazabi19 on 12/19/2011 4:03:38 PM , Rating: 2
I think they should put out a sort of survey, test the waters. If we can get x amount of cars ordered from x departments we can get prices to at least x, then how many depts. would be interested? Just start to email LE agencies and ask, see what the market is. The above is obviously Carbon Motors asking. Just see if they can get it to a practical level. Police cruisers are not cheap and don't stand up to the abuse all that great. Maybe these can help deviate some of that and present a savings in the long run.


RE: Are people waiting for this?
By NellyFromMA on 12/20/2011 1:29:21 PM , Rating: 2
Any PDs looking for new vehicles will be the market... They aren't going to likely talk PDs out of whatever they have now. This is for new purchases, and PDs will always need new vehicles one way or the other. The better suited to their job, the better.


RE: Are people waiting for this?
By RU482 on 12/19/2011 4:02:17 PM , Rating: 4
why would diesel prices go down?


RE: Are people waiting for this?
By Sazabi19 on 12/19/2011 4:12:36 PM , Rating: 2
It's just a hope. If there were that signifigant of a fuel savings I would get a diesel vehicle, but if I can get a small vehicle that gets a few MPG lower for about 70 centers per gallon difference than I will stick with regular unleaded (it's like 67 cents difference right now in Indy I think).


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