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April 26, 2007



Since Phoenix's boardrooms are not filled with cigar sucking fat scared old men, I wouldn't be surprised if they could produce a good quality PHEV-40 sooner than GM. I'm not quite sure if they can make them in the quantities required to make them affordable to the average driver. Let's say around $25-$30K loaded.



but if they can, this will be a great breakthrough. Not to mention an EV that has some style.

The specs are quite reasonable.


Phoenix already plans to start rolling the serial hybrid at the end of next year with production to follow soon after that. Well in advanced of the Volt's 2010 date. Hopefully before production starts on this new vehicle, Phoenix will be able to achieve their goal of $.33/wh which would make the 35 kwh Nanosafe around $11550. But I would assume a smaller battery will be implemented... maybe a 20 kwh battery which would bring the cost around $6600. It might be possible to sell that truck around $25k-$30k.


If they could sell either a PHEV SUV or SUT for $25-$30K then I don't think they could keep up with the demand.

Andrei Belyakov Moscow Russia

Phoenix is a long-range vehicle. Only 10 minutes are required to charge it completely. Why should it become a hybrid?


Why a hybrid?
Longer range.

Sure beats hauling a backup diesel generator in the trunk.

From DC

The hybrid should be a big cost reduction. They could reduce the size of the expensive batteries by 75% and most drivers would still run all electric almost all of the time. A commuter might never have to buy more than the first tank of gasoline.

Stephen Boulet

So this is a serial hybrid?


Don Scherer

Why make this announcement at this time? Phoenix has not yet made a single delivery of the heavily-hyped electric SUT to an end user. And now they announce a different vehicle? My guess: the SUT's real-world performance does not match the pre-release specs. With 4 people in the cab, a modest payload in the bed, cruising at 45 mph with the A/C on, don't be surprised if that 100 to 130 mile range they talk about is actually closer to 40 to 50 miles. Those who are speculating in the stocks of Altair and UQM should tread carefully.


Yes Stephen... this is a serial hybrid. The only thing that's up in the air is if Phoenix will incorporate a flex fuel genset.

And Adrei... without the quick charge infrastructure (quick charge stations) the truck will be limited to a 50-60 mile one way trip before you have to head back home for a trickle charge (5-6 hours). A serial hybrid at this juncture will allow the average consumer (who drives less than 40 miles a day for work) to not only cummute to and from work with pure battery power but will also allow them to have open access to unlimited travel distances because one can fill up at an ordinary gas station.


Jimmi, while we are dreaming, a flex fuel genset is admirable. But a diesel genset would be better. Since it is so much vaporware at this point, why not do both? It really isn't such a big deal after all. Once they have the software/battery management worked out it would not matter which genset they put in the vehicle. Simply have the consumer pick the option THEY want. Price them according to cost with a REASONABLE profit. Then the consumer can pay for whichever option they want. For the driver that only uses the SUT for commuting...all electric. For the driver that commutes but then wants to drive down the coast and back on the weekend, a flex fuel genset. For the driver that uses the vehicle to drive to work 50 weeks a year, but then wants to go 'cross-country' to see grandma, Put in the diesel-powered genset. Then the driver can hop on the interstate and d r i v e . . . . . . .

Since we are dreaming.......

If this was available at 35 grand, they couln't build them fast enough. Heck, GM couldn't build them fast enough. Although, this does raise an important point. What do we do with all the old vehicles? Anybody want to argue the merits of a 'bounty' on old dirty vehicles? Just as an added incentive to insure they are recycled. Our beautiful country doesn't need millions and millions of old rotting hulks rusting away in shelterbelts and junk yards. Better to melt them down.

Kit p

I will buy your old POS. Not that I think that EVs will create a glut of used cars.


--Just as an added incentive to insure they are recycled.--

Most cars are recycled.
Why? Because theres money to be made from the raw materials.

Steel for instance has a higher recycling rate than an mining rate.

From DC

Stephen, I think you are right. I have not heard of anyone riding in, much less driving, even a pre-production model of what is so far a paper car that exists mostly in Phoenix press releases. It would not be too surprising if the delivery time stretches out and the specs retreat. At least with the Tesla some journalists from the automotive press have ridden in a pre-production vehicle and confirmed the acceleration (but not the range).

Jim from The Energy Blog
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) currently is evaluating four of Phoenix Motorcars all-electric sport/utility trucks (SUTs) as part of its clean-fuel fleet.

This sounds to me that someone is driving the SUT in real world conditions. In addition to this the press has driven the car at several exhibits that Phoenix has attended. See the press releases at their website and at Altairnano's website.


PG&E is not the only one that has driven the Phoenix truck. There have been multiple ride-in demonstrations at different conventions. Ed Bagley has driven the truck (he even spotlighted the truck on one of his shows). I'm sure Jay Leno had a ride in one also when Ed Bagley showed it to him. One of the first ride-in demonstrations showed in-car video of the truck being driven. These demonstrations are all from the pre-production models.

From DC...

Seems to me that your claim of the Phoenix truck as "vaporware" is just based on conjecture and not doing simple research. Just curious... why even make a statement like that?

Susan K

I have seen videos of press testdrives in the Phoenix, I think it was on autoblog green...
My question is why is there no mention of this retreat into hybrid on the Phoenix site? Not one press release. This news is only elsewhere.

Kit p

Back when I lived in California, I was worried about where the electricity was going to come from to power EVs but since Ed Bagley is such a big supporter of solar I am no longer worried. [/sarcasm]



It might be that fact that Phoenix is still a private company and doesn't have any stockholders to please. They can be laxed about current developement and the press releases. Ofcoarse UQM is a publically traded company and they issued a release on April 25.

Kit P,

I can see how initially the power to charge EVs in CA isn't much of a problem since only 500 vehicles this year from Phoenix and Tesla, 1000 combined. But you do raise a good issue as to what will happen in the very near future ifproduction estimates are acheived. 6000 for 2008 and 20000 for 2009 are Phoenix's numbers. Not sure what Tesla's projections are. This is a concern being CA is always in need for power and black/brown outs occur occasionally. The one viable solution I see is to expand hydro (pointing a finger at the Hoover Dam). The Hoover Dam can create, from what I recall, about 4 billion kwh a year with 4 penstocks. CA from my understanding takes about 25% of all power produced from Hoover Dam. Doubling the penstocks can fix the problem for the short term... but if EVs turn out to be the next best thing... grids can and probally will become unstable to meet the demand. That will mean back to fossils unless wave/solar/nuclear suddenly take off withing the next 10 years.

This might be a reason why Phoenix is heading toward serial PHEV. They may have the insight of trying to address the future power demand and came up with a solution to distribute the demand between grid and liquid fuels. Atleast until utility companies figure out a way to address the need for EVs and their charging stations. Good move by Altair to rub shoulders with PG&E and AES where they can possibly come up with some solutions. But this is just speculation... still too early to tell.

Harvey D.


I don't know enough about your tight electrical power situation, but the majority (75+%) around here already live in 100% electric homes. Many use over 30000 KWh/year because electricity is clean (98% hydro) cheap and plentiful and our houses are not very well (cheaply) built.

We moved from one of those inefficient houses to a much better built place and our electricity consumption went from 33000KWh/yr to 13000 KWh/yr. With the 20000 KWh/yr saved we could drive PHEVs or BEVs some 80 000 miles/yr.

I'm not saying that this could apply to everybody, but millions of us could reduce domestic (home) electricity consumption enough (thru 1001 ways) to drive one or two PHEVs BEVs around without consumming much more power.

An inefficient 4-Ton A/C can over-consume enough power for a BEV. An equivalent size very high SEER geothermal heat pump would supply both heat and cooling yearound while saving enough power for your BEV or PHEV.


"Krytonite" find in Serbia could be the lithium find of the century. The mineral to be named Jadarite contains a very sizable percentage of lithium. If the site in Serbia pans out to be a large mineral deposit, lithium supplies could expand reducing the cost. Battery manufacturers could in turn reduce their costs and make lithium battries cheaper than all but lead acid. Cost point could fall from the current low of .33/wh to half that or less if the supply goes way up over the next year. Still hybrids and BEV's would be more than ICE to purchase but the fuel cost savings would make them cheaper to operate and more economical than ICE vehicles. The infrastructure cost to use electricity (the ultimate flex-fuel) would be but a fraction of cost and converting to any other fuel. Truckstops and RV parks already have electric hookups. AVinc has the chargers. By 2010 BEVs could be more common in showrooms than ICE vehicles.


Harvey D...

Where I live... we don't have any hydro what so ever. I'm actually in VA and just used CA as an example since that is where the Phoenix trucks are being sold. I furthered my example with a speculation that if/when Phoenix starts getting into higher production levels... there could be a drain to the CA grid in parts such as the out skits of LA, San Diego and southern CA.

Where I live we get most of our power from Dominion Power which is mainly coal. We do have the Surry nuclear power plant but from my understanding most of that energy goes to the multitude of military installations close by with the remaining power going to immediate localities to the reactor site. The state has accepted Dominion's plans for a second reactor and hopefully our resident can tap into that grid. As far as renewables... I don't think we have anything at all. That's why i'm so jealous of you guys in the west that can tap into hydro and wind and soon to be wave energy in the Pacific Northwest. I think the people here in VA are going backwards... instead of renewable research legislation... Thelma Drake is trying to push for off shore drilling for oil and natural gas. I see the point you are making and must agree that is a valid way to offset the use of a BEV. But electricity bills here in VA run higher than in CA... not in the sense of price/kwh but in the sense we have serious hot and humid summers and an A/C unit is basically a must running 24/7 during the summer. 90+ degrees and 90% humidity is all too common here.

I'll have to look up the SEER geothermal heat pump that you mentioned. Our heat pump just went out and needs to be replaced. Hopefully I can afford one of those SEER pumps and have it installed before the heat wave hits this summer. Thanks for the input.

kit p

Electricity rates are much lower in Virgina than California.

I moved last year to Virginia and my electric rates are what they were when I moved Washington in 93 and a quarter of what they were when I moved to California in 86.

If your utility produces electricity with coal, hydroelectric, or nukes and is well managed, then you have cheap electricity.

The problem is that demand is increasing because of population growth and immigration. When Harvey move into a more efficient house, somebody moved into the less efficient house. No matter how you cut it, new demand is coming from fossil fuels because demand is increasing faster than non fossil sources can be built.

For the record Jimmi, you not need AC because it is hot and humid. I just love when the rich talk about saving energy by being more efficient.


Oh really?

Last I checked non-fossil fuel sources can be built in a fraction of the time of conventional sources.

ESPECIALLY Nuclear, which takes about 8-15 years to get built.

Rip out some unnecisary subsidies
Like $12 billion for "Sustainable Nuclear", and or $9 Billion for "Clean Coal", and I can guaruntee we'd get plenty of renewables on the market.


Main reason California has expensive electricity prices is to promote conservation.

And last I checked, we're pretty damned good at that.

Not to mention, we have one of the greenest grids in the nation.


For the record Kit P, if you're referring to me as "rich", you might wanna do a little research and if I was "rich" I've never seen any of that money. I'm a struggling average American trying to make ends meet. I don't have a BSME from Purdue and make under $25k a year.

And duh!!! Ofcoarse you don't "need" to run the AC because of the heat and humidity factor. But since my father who is over 80 and currently a diabetic, has high blood preasure, severe asthma and a few other ailments, I feel it a need that he is comforted with some ammenities in his golden years. His 2 story house, which I live in because I'm soooo rich (sarcasm), is not the most efficient and in order to prevent the house from turning into a hot box we have to run our upstairs unit almost 24/7 during the peak summer months. Of coarse when we get a break from the heat, we turn the unit off. During those months our electricity bills run an average of about $150 a month. Now my mom who lives in southern CA has no problem with the summer months there and one summer when my father stayed over there had no need for the AC to feel comfortable, atleast most of the time. Open windows and fans were all that was needed. The 2 story house my mom lived in that summer had an electricity bill average of about $50 a month.

Everyone has a different situation and your particular way of doing things may not be the solution for others. And if you understood what I wrote previously you would see that I wasn't trying to compare rates...

"...not in the sense of price/kwh..."

I love it when an intellectual with a BSME from Purdue tries to imply he knows what's best for others without even trying to understand that particular situation. But most of all, I love it when they also talk down to people who are struggling to make ends meet for the sake of making a point of stating the obvious.

kit P

Jimmi, I want you to know that I walked to school when it was 30 below. Uphill both ways.

Poverty is a state of mind. I learned that from my parents. This what I want you to do. Every time there is a public hearing in Northern Virgina for affordable coal and nuclear electricity go and testify about important reasonably priced electricity is to you.

However, I do understand. My mother died during the first energy crisis. She had cancer and could not work. She could not afford heating oil and was trying to heat the house with the gas stove in February in Northern Indiana. I got home from the Navy on in time to keep the electric and gas from being turned off. She died of pneumonia at 55.

I learned to make electricity at the working end of steam turbine on a WWII destroyer. I suppose I was a bit more intellectual than the other machinist mates because the Navy sent me to get a college education.

So, I agree with Jimmi. We should should provide energy regardless of the situation of the customer. Jimmi has to decide what he wants. Does he want affordable energy or does he want to do without energy because it is not available?

Just a minor technical point based on having a BSME. Northern Virginia is a mild climate. If the upstairs is more than two degrees warmer with the AC running or feels hot, something is wrong. When I was stationed in Virgina, I had a big old house but it was properly insulated. When I moved back last year, my house had been built since the energy crisis and appeared to properly insulated. However, on the first hot day; the heat would hit you going upstairs. It took about $300 including a radiant barrier to fix this problem. What is amazing to me is all the people lived with the obvious problem for 20 years.


Kit P,

Hmmmm... I don't have a degree of higher education such as yourself and so I'm a bit confused. If you walk to school and it's a path that is basically uphill... one would think that taking the same way back would basically be downhill. But you know more than me cause I'm an average Joe and you're an intellectual.

As far as going to N VA for every public hearing to testify... well I guess I should express my concerns in a public forum. I guess you might consider this as part of my civic duty. But my current financial situation really doesn't permit me to do that. Not only would I have to spend money for the 3 hour drive there and 3 hour drive back, I would lose time away from work. So not only am I spending money, I'm putting myself in a situation that I'm not making money. Like so many other American workers, we try to utilize the political system and vote for candidates that best express our concerns. And if there is a raised concern, I write my city council, state legislature, and/or congressman or in my case congresswoman.

RE: "Poverty is a state of mind"

Well first off you disected my previous statements and called my "rich". Now you make a statement that implies that "poverty" best describes me and that it's all in my head. I like to consider myself average. Average enough to figure out that something was wrong with our cooling situation. Adding insulation was our first step and was done about 4 years ago. Unfortunately the problem still persisted although not as bad as before. Just last fall we had new windows installed and we're awaiting verdict on that decision. But bad luck has fallen our way and our upstairs AC unit isn't running now. With a new AC unit, added insulation, and new windows I think we've fixed our situation. A little more than we had planned to spend but it should pay for itself in about a decade or so.

Don't get me wrong Kit P, I like some of the arguements that you've mentioned in the past and take it into consideration when formulating my own opinions. Isn't it funny how some "intellectuals" suggest the obvious as if others are too incompetent of doing so. Now that's amazing!!!

Kit P


Consider this: Perforated, Radiant barrier


Very cost effective.


Just for the record. I live in Calif. and it has a large capacity for electrical usage, during the daytime hours, everybody is using large amounts of it.

Now I don't know about you, but I would be charging my EV at night while the demand is VERY LOW. Seems to me that it would take a LOT of EV's on the grid at night to equal what we currently use during the daytime. With that in mind, I don't think we would need to change the grid anytime soon.

Good day all.

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