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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 unksol on 12/20/2011 7:20:24 PM , Rating: 3
Yes. People are waiting for this. I rode with an officer 2 YEARS ago who told me about the company and wanted one. It was designed with law enforcement input. They have 20,000 preorders from 600 departments. They have the demonstration vehicle built and are touring it. Every police officer is going to want one of these, and their departments are going to buy them to save money.

They are going to cost about the same at first, be cheaper to operate, and come out of the factory fully badged and customized to the the departments specs. No buying aftermarket equipment and then paying to have it installed. And there's a lot of it. And then paying to strip it out 2 years later so they can try and sell an abused high mileage car. You send it back and pay a fee to refurbish it. You don't need to pay for a brand new one when the body is fine.

And they have features you just can't get on a Charger.
You tell me that they don't need a 75MPH rear collision rating the next time you see some moron plow into the back of a state trooper on the side of the highway. Or balistic protection in the dash and doors when they are getting shot at. Or sensors for radiation and chemical detection when there's a hazerdous waste spill or gas leak they are trying to keep you safe from and track the blown fumes. When you can have something thats safer for officers, arrestees, and the rest of us at the same price its a great idea.

The goverment gives loans all the time to help start businesses. There's no reason they shouldn't apply for one. And if a low interest goverment loan saves them money, and keeps the cars cost down then thats good. I am no fan of the auto bailouts, but if GM can pay it back these guys can too. And of all the things to give a loan to, one for the development of a public service vehicle that is going to save the public money and improve saftey is a heck of a lot better than solyndra.


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