When last we left the company behind the inflatable car concept, we were questioning whether or not they are full of hot air. Now, with the recent loan refusal from the Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program (ATVMP), it appears we aren't alone in our skepticism. XP Vehicles received the bad news the other night and are, as one might expect from a team that has spent $3 million in "cash and person hours" developing a concept they strongly believe in, "extremely disappointed". According to frustrated XPV, they applied for the funds last November and were never contacted for any additional information. The main reasons said to be given for the refusal were, "...the fact that our vehicles do not use E85 gasoline and that we are not making millions of cars."
Being the "scrappy and determined" folks they are, the company has not taken the decision lying down and have not only issued a press release expressing their frustration, but have also
[Source: XP Vehicles]
XP Vehicles Extremely Disappointed in DOE Rejection of ATVM Application
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- XP Vehicles, Inc., a California-based electric car company, was notified last night by the U.S. Department of Energy that their Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program application had been rejected. "This is extremely frustrating as we submitted this application almost ten months ago and not once did DOE ask any of our engineers, the founder or our project leads for additional or clarifying information," asserted Scott Redmond, the company's chairman. "What is even more frustrating is that one of the main reasons they gave us for the rejection was the fact that our vehicles do not use E85 gasoline and that we are not making millions of cars. The primary purpose of this loan program, we were told by its authors, was to develop advanced technology and further reduce our dependence on gasoline," added Redmond. The XP Vehicles car uses no gasoline and gets over 125 miles per battery charge.
What XP vehicles submitted to DOE:
* Fortune 500-class extremely comprehensive 10 year detailed financials.
* Metrics that demonstrated that the XP car can save millions of lives annually.
* Metrics that demonstrate that a gasoline/hybrid vehicle is dangerously carcinogenic when filled at a gas station compared to an XP Vehicle.
* Engineering and IP metrics that beat every competitor on price, range, safety, TOC, efficiency, toxic safety and hundreds of other points.
* Examples of work from $3M of cash and person-hours previously invested by founders, DOE & partners.
* Lists of top auto and aerospace corporate partners, staff and resources, on stand-by, equaling thousands of people in all groups combined.
* Validation of a deep team of core staff that have been developing the project and parts of the project for 3-15 years.
* Samples of extensive international positive press coverage.
* Proof that XP was the lowest overhead car company in the market which equates to the best chance to profit and return funds.
* Market and marketing studies.
* CAD designs and engineering plans.
It is well known that DOE funding cannot be surpassed in terms by any current bank or investor in this economy. That is why XP Vehicles and several other advanced technology electric car companies were the first to apply for these loans; the major car companies were not. However, the rules were changed midway through the process to allow these late entrants. Now XP Vehicles has learned that almost all the federal money is going to "Detroit" companies or companies closely aligned with Detroit.
"While we have absolutely no problem with funding going to our traditional automotive industry," Redmond admitted. "We cannot believe that no funding will be given to small, advanced technology companies trying to move our nation even further from our dependence on oil. After all, isn't that what President Obama intended with his energy independence program and support for high technology companies?" questioned Redmond.
XP Vehicles has asked its many thousands of supporters and interested stakeholders to contact their legislators to ask for help with DOE. "While we have no idea whether the Department will respond to congressional inquiries, we just have no other options left in obtaining some financial help from the federal government," stated Janet Kopenhaver, Washington Lobbyist for XP Vehicles. "We had put a grassroots letter-writing campaign on hold because we were getting assurances from DOE that everything was in order with our application, but circumstances now leave us no choice but to move ahead," added Kopenhaver.
About XP Vehicles, Inc.
In development by Clever Industries LLC for nearly a dozen years, with millions of dollars in resources already invested, spin-out XP Vehicles, Inc., is on a mission is to develop the safest, most affordable vehicle with the lowest total cost of operation (TCO) and the best power-to-weight ratio powered by alternative energy. The battery pack is capable of delivering around 125 miles per charge with four passengers. However, it could reach 300 miles with the continuous charge of an optional XP Auxiliary Power Unit. For more information on XP Vehicles, please visit www.myxpcar.com.
Letter of Support
The Honorable John Doe
U.S. House of Representatives/United States Senate
Washington, DC 20515/20510
Dear Representative/Senator Doe:
As your constituent and a firm supporter of our nation's environment and energy independence, I was extremely disappointed in the recent announcement made by the U.S. Department of Energy to reject a comprehensive and thorough Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) loan application submitted by the California-based company XP Vehicles. Their innovative car technology has produced a vehicle capable of delivering about 125 miles per one battery pack charge and uses no gasoline. I cannot understand why the Energy Department is not willing to fund a car that goes an almost unlimited range via hot-swap cartridges, costs less than $20,000.00, uses no gasoline, is easy to repair, easy to build, saves your life better than any other car, is faster than competing solutions, does not require an extension cord, uses electricity and creates green jobs. I hope that you have the same questions and would be willing to phone or write Secretary Chu and ask him directly.
While I realize that some of these loan monies should go to established and traditional automotive companies, I find it unbelievable that the Department is not being more forward-thinking and allocating some of their investment in the future.Again, as your constituent, I am asking you to call or write Secretary Chu and ask him to reconsider the loan application submitted by XP Vehicles.