Print 57 comment(s) - last by Skywalker123.. on Dec 21 at 12:56 PM

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 3:59:27 PM , Rating: 2
Crown Vics are no longer in production. The cars they are starting to go to now are Dodge Challengers, factory made, not to order. Now they have them sent off and painted the color they want and have decals put on, but for the most part this stuff is either done with people that the police contract or in-house by the fleet techs. The same can be said probably about these new Carbon E7's. They will come off the line in 3 (guessing here) basic colors, black, white, and brown/tan. After that the dept. orders them, puts on their decals and possibly anything else they want. They will save money right there on light bars (very expensive and wind resistant). Jobs should not be lost on this as Dodge will still produce their Challengers but now a new company will need employees to build and the fleet techs are still fixing cars. Most of the Crown Vics (patrol cars) have about a 2 year USEFUL life span to them if they are on the street, they rack up a LOT of miles on them very quickly and require a lot of maintenance. I do not know about the other cars but I am hoping they can be used longer. If we could get some testing vehicles and show that there is a savings in there compared to other vehicles then have a bunch of depts. put in orders and try to reduce the price. This all should be dependent on price and savings.

RE: Are people waiting for this?
By Mint on 12/19/2011 4:24:59 PM , Rating: 2
Testing vehicles are fine, but you don't need $300M for that. I still say contracts could be secured before jumping all in with a factory, and it's much better than blindly hoping cash-strapped cities will fund new police vehicles.

As for the jobs, you don't seem to understand my point. If departments stop ordering Challengers over the next 5 years, then Dodge won't hire as many people to build/maintain them in the future, other companies who modify them will make layoffs. That will mostly counter any new jobs created by Carbon E7 production. It's largely substitutive.

At least with the greentech subsidies, there is at least the hope that an export industry is being created, imported oil will go down, air gets cleaner, etc rather than just waiting and finally ceding the market to the far east.

RE: Are people waiting for this?
By Just Tom on 12/19/2011 4:40:44 PM , Rating: 2
No police department is going to commit to purchasing a vehicle that does not exist. You are talking about entities that plan their capital budgets years in advance, what are they going to do if Carbon goes belly up?

RE: Are people waiting for this?
By Mint on 12/20/2011 1:46:14 AM , Rating: 2
If Carbon goes belly up, then they just do what they've always been doing and modify consumer vehicles.

If police departments really are worried about that possibility, and if you're right in suggesting that they won't buy cars because of that risk, then Carbon has no chance. They could never sell a car, as the risk of going bankrupt will always be there.

I suspect that you're wrong, though. Any monopsony with a unique need will have to sign a contract to get something built for them. Lockheed wouldn't design, test, and build assembly lines for F22s without a contract beforehand.

RE: Are people waiting for this?
By rika13 on 12/19/2011 9:30:30 PM , Rating: 3
Actually the Dodge cop car is the Charger, and it does have a number of police features, just like the Ford CVPI and now Taurus and Chevy Impala. These include higher ride height (run over curbs like a monster truck), stiffer suspension, engine oil and transmission coolers (Dodge also throws in a power steering fluid cooler), calibrated speedometer (no radar needed), hour meters (for maintenance), inoperable rear windows and doors (now on many normal cars to keep kids from escaping), those famous steel cop rims (they will bend rather than break), the ever-cool spotlight, and pre-drilled holes for antennae. Things like plastic rear seats, push bars, lights and specialized electronics are installed by at third party (either contracted or employed) and removed for reuse before the vehicle is auctioned off.

NYPD only cares about gas mileage and therefore rolls with Impalas since they have V6s with cylinder deactivation. Most places that are using CVPIs are buying extras and/or keeping them longer until they can qualify a different vehicle.

RE: Are people waiting for this?
By Alexvrb on 12/19/2011 10:31:07 PM , Rating: 2
Remember the now-defunct Pontiac G8 platform (Zeta platform)? The GT model was an especially good bargain. It seemed like such a waste... but at least it found new life in a Police application, especially with the upgraded suspension, as a Caprice PPV.

It has two engine options. For the V6 it has the newer DI 3.6L, 87-octane tune. Decent power, decent mileage, especially for a large RWD police vehicle. It's a bigger vehicle than the Impala (although the 2012 Impala V6 has similar output now), and more power than the V6 Charger.

They can also order it with the AFM 6.0L V8 as a no-cost option. They didn't tune it for maximum horsepower, so it still turns out halfway decent mileage and runs on 87 octane. Either engine will run on any mix of gas and ethanol up to E85. Both are coupled to a police-tuned 6 speed auto (6L80 IIRC, fairly stout RWD tranny).

It also has lots of 9C1/9C3 upgrades, like upgraded suspension and brakes, better axle ratios, EPDM rubber hoses, limited slip, engine/trans/steering coolers, optional auxilary battery, etc.

RE: Are people waiting for this?
By rich876 on 12/20/2011 1:52:26 PM , Rating: 2
The GM Chevy Caprice is the new police car of choice. It's the best police car out there. Much better than the Ford Crown Victoria. I'm surprised no one seems to know this info.

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