SymPowerco Acquiring Utility Vehicle Manufacturer

SymPowerco which develops advanced fuel cell and power delivery systems for the personal transportation and portable power system markets is in the late stages of acquiring Hoss Motor Sports and Highline Hydrogen Hybrids.  Hoss Motor Sports is currently moving to new production facilities in Dumas, AK where they will manufacture utility vehicles for the search and rescue, construction and sport utility and off road enthusiast markets. Highline  has developed a supplemental hydrogen system that significantly reduces emissions from internal combustion engines.  The company is planning to introduce a product for off-road commercial vehicles.  Learn more:

Utility Vehicle App: Vacuum Cleaner

John Deere Gator With Mounted Stadium Vac From Broyhill

John Deere Gator With Mounted Stadium Vac From Broyhill

A town in Mississippi decided to tackle their litter problem using a utility vehicle.  The parks director for D’lberville purchased a Stadium Vac from Broyhill and mounted it on a Gator.  The vehicle is now used to clean up road side litter.  According to the director the unit allows one person to do the work of five and has already paid for itself.  Learn more:

Boulder Electric Vehicle’s Prototype Exceeds Expectations

Boulder Electric Vehicles Prototype Delivery Truck

Boulder Electric Vehicle's Prototype Delivery Truck

Boulder Electric Vehicle’s prototype all electric delivery truck has exceeded the company’s expectations for power at takeoff, acceleration and range.  The prototype was finished in early June and has been undergoing testing since that time.  The vehicle, powered by a lithium ion phosphate battery, has been surpassing the anticipated range of 100-120 miles under both gentle and aggressive driving conditions.  The vehicle is designed to carry a payload of up to 6,000 lbs and has a top speed of 65 mph.  The company is hoping to receive $30 million in stimulus funding to produce an initial 250 vehicles and is targeting companies like UPS and Fedex as potential customers.  Learn more:  Boulder County Business Report

Chrylser Wants To Sharply Reduce The Number Of GEM Dealers

Chrysler will argue in bankruptcy court next week that it should be able to eliminate 64 of 150 GEM dealers.  This represents just over 40% of the GEM dealerships.  According to Chrysler management 26 of the dealers are already closed or winding down operations and many others have only sold a “handful” of vehicles in the past two years. Learn more:

Comment: This development is not too surprising. In recent weeks I  have interviewed a number of NEV dealers for an upcoming study and some of them, not just GEM dealers, have shutdown or put their operations on hold.  The economy has a large part to do with their difficulties as well as misjudging the interest in these vehicles for personal transportation. MC

ZENN Takes Larger Stake In EEStor

Last week ZENN completed an additional $5 million equity investment in EEStor.  This investment increases ZENN’s stake in the energy storage developer from 3.8% to 10.7%.  The option to increase their stake was triggered when EEStor reached a previously agreed upon technical milestone earlier this year.  Learn more:

Will Best Buy Be The Best Place For e-Vehicles?

Best Buy is exploring market opportunities as a distributor of e-vehicles.  The computer and electronics retailer sees potential in these products along with others related to the concept of the “smart grid”.   According Rick Rommel, Best Buy’s senior vice president for Emerging Business

When you turn to the smart grid, the ability to take complex technologies that are going to plug into the home, utilize home area networks, communicate back over broadband to utilities — it’s going to be a fairly complex system.  We think that’s a place where Best Buy can take our experience in in-home systems sales, support and installation and apply it to the smart grid.

The company recently started selling electric bicycles in 20 stores around Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles and has plans to see the Enertia, an electric motorcycle as well.  Depending on the success of these products,  other e-vehicles such as NEVs may offered for sale or rental.  Learn more:

Comment: Distribution on this scale could really raise the awareness level of NEVs and a rental option could allow a large number of consumers to experience and essentially test drive these vehicles. – MC