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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 Reclaimer77 on 12/19/2011 5:13:06 PM , Rating: 1
Where did you see me disrespecting officers in that post? You're projecting a bunch of stuff on me that I never said or even implied.

So, with that said, I'd love to see their lives made easier and efficiency increased with a vehicle like this. Officers are more than worth it.

That's fine, I have no problem with that. The issue is requesting federal money to bring a product to the market. If it's such an obvious winner in this segment, they should be able to do it with private sector loans or investment capital.

RE: Are people waiting for this?
By geddarkstorm on 12/20/2011 3:06:35 PM , Rating: 2
On the contrary, you did fully imply it when you said "further funding the oppressive police state". How can an improved vehicle add to an "oppressive police state"? The oppressive or "police state" nature of our society can only be achieved through terrible laws and ordinances, not through the actual gear our officers have. The implication that giving them better gear funds oppressiveness is a slight against the officers themselves. Even if you didn't mean it that way, as I'm sure you didn't, that is the direct implication, so I just clarified it.

The police are a public service run by the public. Why would vehicles suited solely for them have to be privately made and profitable? Especially if by "profitable" they are still just making their money from the police and thus still from public funds all the same? Doesn't that strike you as silly?

Simply roll it into the police budge and call it good, if there is room in the budget, and if the public wishes to give more funding. But it is ridiculous in my view to say it must be via the private sector, when it's all going to be paid for by public funds in the end anyways. The police force isn't a market, and previous vehicles were just customized off of production models for the general populous. This is a vehicle made specifically for police first: though, it looks sweet and could be retrofitted for the general public, and thus could actually make the public money in a private way through that.

It's all a matter of how much we wish to fund and equip our police force, but this is one matter I feel which should not be dragged into the "public versus private" funding debate that is important for other spurious, even dubious, government endeavors.

RE: Are people waiting for this?
By tng on 12/20/2011 4:43:07 PM , Rating: 3
How can an improved vehicle add to an "oppressive police state"?
Well, for instance, since it records what goes on in the back seat, if you mumble something and the mike and camera pick it up, then they can use this in court, no matter how it was meant at the time.

I don't know if cop cars now have this capability, but I could go on about how the specifics of this car could be used to suppress your rights.

RC77 comes from the camp that says if they have a tool that can be used against you, eventually they will. Can't say that I disagree with him there, do you trust politicians? For the most part the police are controlled by politicians.

Or maybe I am just paranoid...

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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