Cal Cars is concluding that their goals can best be achieved through a for-profit company. In todays post on HybridCars.com Felix Kramer, founder of The California Cars Initiative discusses the process and the reasoning as to why he has come to this conclusion. The following are some selected excerpts from his post:
It took us four years to make largely unknown PHEVs a recognized path for automotive development. We built awareness and enthusiasm. Our open-source-style PRIUS+ conversions proved what's possible.
So why have car-makers remained reluctant to embrace our technology, and try to make a bundle off it? They’re reactive, work in long product cycles. and don't believe people will pay more up-front. And they can't see beyond resolveable technical concerns, especially on batteries.
How can we go further? Wise voices have long urged us to start a company. "Change the auto industry by proving your solution can make money." It helps to have people like top VC John Doerr tell us, "Plug-in hybrids are a really big deal. They are practical, profitable and urgently needed."
So now we want to launch an ambitious for-profit. We’re talking with other leading PHEV innovators about combining talents and acquiring funding to operate in the high-stakes world. We're hatching plans to rapidly deliver PHEV conversions to fleets and individuals; work on original designs; license our intellectual property; and keep innovating.
This is certainly a welcome possibility to help launch the PHEV revolution. CalCars and Plug-in Partners have done more than anyone else to promote the PHEV. AFS Trinity has announced their intention to build PHEVs and Phoenix Motorcars is using Altair Li-ion batteries in their EV; perhaps the CalCar venture can benefit from their endeavors.
Resource: Will CalCars Start a Company?, Felix Kramer, Hybrid Cars Blogs, September 5, 2006