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Carbon Motors Shuts Down

May 02, 2013  | 

Photo courtesy of Carbon Motors.
Photo courtesy of Carbon Motors.
A year after the Obama administration denied Carbon Motors a loan to produce its specialty patrol car, the company has shut down the program and left its Indiana facility.

Carbon Motors abandoned plans to produce the purpose-built E7 patrol carThe company had developed a prototype vehicle, took over a former Ford plant in Connorsville, Ind., and began taking orders for the vehicle. The company said it had received about $200 million in private and public financing.

In March 2012, the Department of Energy denied the company's application for $310 million in loads under the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program.

The company quietly left its facility last month and send a brief email to Mayor Leonard Urban thanking him for his support, reports the New York Times.

The E7, which was designed by a one-time Dallas-Fort Worth police officer, came at an opportune moment, as Ford announced it was discontinuing the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. The prototype offered upgrades from the CVPI that were mostly incorporated into the new generation of police vehicles from Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors.


Carbon Motors E7 Patrol Car (photos)

Comments (40)

Displaying 1 - 40 of 40

Marti @ All K9s @ 5/2/2013 4:28 PM

Darn it! I love that car! I had the chance to drive the prototype when it came to Seattle. Excellent handling, very fast out of the gate, comfortable and really a hot looking vehicle.

Capt. Crunch @ 5/2/2013 4:34 PM

It is a shame to see American jobs lost. Maybe if the company used American engines instead of German they would have got the loan.

Andy @ 5/2/2013 4:34 PM

That figures. NoBama strikes again. He just can't stand for us to have the opportunity to get something that could possibly make our jobs easier.

Rob @ 5/2/2013 4:42 PM

Probably had nothing to do with German engines, but rather it wasn't the type of green vehicle Obama wants to see in his vision of America. That and the likelihood that rich, liberal Hollywood elitists just didn't want to see themselves taking a ride in one when they were caught behaving badly.

Retired NY Boss @ 5/2/2013 4:48 PM

They should have made an electric car or put solar panels on the roof, then they would have been given bags of money.

vincenzino @ 5/2/2013 4:58 PM

I guess you could say the Department of Energy "acted stupidly...".

JKW @ 5/2/2013 5:29 PM

Very good vincenzino!!

rob @ 5/2/2013 5:46 PM

If the car passed out free money and food for everyone then the loan would go through.

EWJ @ 5/2/2013 6:23 PM

I live near Connersville. The guy that ran Carbon Motors had actually never occupied the building. The only activity that ever happened there was spending the city's $$ on new windows, heating and A/C.

Stan @ 5/2/2013 8:58 PM

I was looking to invest in this company when they were applying for the loan. The car was well designed. The power plant met the Dept Energy standards for the loan, etc. If what the company put in print was a true prospectus, then it would have been a worth while investment. My only question is: why didn't Carbon use the Tesla Motors business model? Tesla contracted their car manufacturing to Lodus the first two years. Tesla is now public and builds in CA. Corbon investors needed $200,000/ yr income to be considered serious. Makes me wonder now.

Chicago Sam @ 5/3/2013 1:19 AM

This is just another example of how the Obama administration treats American jobs and American law enforcement for that matter.

Will you future patrol vehicles be General Motors products like a Chevy or GMC? Just check out what our $80 BILLION bailout of General Motors bought the American people. And we continue to let them do this sort of thing to us.

And to EWJ near Connersville, well those cars have to have come from somewhere! I bet they didn't come from Shanghai.

cop434 @ 5/3/2013 4:11 AM

Like others that have posted on this site, I too had driven a prototype of this vehicle and thought the whole design was very well thought out and put together to make a very real and useful police cruzer. I am very sorry to see it not come to actual production. Don't see how the government gave out loans to the other car companies but not to Carbon? Lot of back door games if you ask me.

Renee @ 5/3/2013 4:46 AM

It was not about not wanting officers jobs to be made easier, it was the plant Carbon Motors presented. They didn't do their due diligence before requesting the loan...

Glockthis @ 5/3/2013 5:26 AM

Why did'nt Carbon Motors get the $ from their GOP friends in Texas? Sounds like allot of people did not want to invest for some reason.

Jim McDonough @ 5/3/2013 5:56 AM

And so goes it for American business and ingenuity. If he would have outsourced it, Obama would have bent over backwards to give him double the loan amount. Makes me sick!

Motorhed @ 5/3/2013 5:57 AM

I had an upclose look at this vehicle on display at show sponsored by ACDELCO. I'm not sure how this car preformed on the road, but, functionality of all the options and buttons reminded me of a Gremlin. This car looked to have a lot of imagination and NO engineering. SAD..

Marshal Fine @ 5/3/2013 6:08 AM

I guess I have a unique insight into this one. I am a student of automotive history and in L/E for about 30 years, so here goes;
Carbon Motors was doomed from the time the ink dried on the loans to GM and Chrysler PERIOD. No administration would allow even one car to be made by a company that was not, 1. union and 2. taxpayer backed. It is that simple. One can argue the virtue of the E7, but you can't argue with crappy politics. With police departments getting fed money.. they wern't going to risk their GM and Chrysler loans.

Marshal Fine @ 5/3/2013 6:12 AM

Personally, I did not like the business model from them either.. The whole deal was closed in. There was no residual value and what were they going to do at end of lifespan?? Do another stupid "cash for clunkers" with police agencies?? I remember when a Chevy dealer here in Indiana would give you a current year Caprice, if you traded in your 1 year old one, but drilled no holes and kept it fairly nice.. They sold them to the middle east, I think. Got them into hot water as I remember !

mark @ 5/3/2013 6:18 AM

What kills me is that their car, fully equipped and made for law enforcement would have been at the same cost of a current crown vic, caprice, etc

Lt Dan @ 5/3/2013 6:20 AM

Spot on Marshal Fine. That was exactly what I was thinking. The GM and Chrysler bailouts doomed this project. Anti-trust comes to mind here. So does the Delorian.

Lt Dan @ 5/3/2013 6:21 AM

Spot on Marshal Fine. That was exactly what I was thinking. The GM and Chrysler bailouts doomed this project. Anti-trust comes to mind here. So does the Delorian.

bman @ 5/3/2013 6:34 AM

I agree that the Chrysler and GM bailouts helped doom them. Also because of the solar companies and electric car companies that were a failure. They didnt want a diesel burning engine to be the one that makes their uber green energy look bad. Plus the backlash of "loaning" that kind of money to a private company was not real helpful at the time. It is a shame though. The car had some serious potential. One positive thing is all the big 3 names have started incorporating officer friendly functions into their cars like the seat cut outs and programmable buttons on the steering wheel. Hopefully this will continue and they will keep taking cues from Motorola's ultimate patrol vehicle and such.

Chief P @ 5/3/2013 6:40 AM

This was doomed before it started. If you think it was just Obamanator that did this you would be mistaken. This vehicle was not a Ford, GM or Dodge so there is no way it was moving forward. Those companies probably had as much to do with it as anything.

Marshal Fine @ 5/3/2013 7:35 AM

to Mark, I think the cost would have to have been subsidized by tax dollars. As we all know, copcars are price loss vehicles as a rule. Their costs are underwritten by more expensive vehicles. Trust me, the Police Ram is retail (fleet) at about $22,900.. Stickers at about $35k. so something else is making up the difference. Caprices are about the only ones that are close to cost. When they start building them here they will be much cheaper.

Marshal Fine @ 5/3/2013 7:38 AM

I predict the twin turbo Fords will go away.. No fleet manager will want many of those. Unless they warranty those turbos for LIFE ! Anyone pay to replace one (much less 2!) turbos yet?? Dumbest damn thing I seen in a while. If you need that kind of HP , buy a V8. Cheaper to own long term. Never got it?

Oath Keeper @ 5/3/2013 8:01 AM

He should have named his company Green Motors and they would have given him $500 MILLION. Carbon Motors is a name the morons in power wouldn't like to see be successful.

Ima Leprechaun @ 5/3/2013 9:29 AM

It should not be a taxpayer venture to manufacture Police cars. This is nothing more than robbing the public of funds. If this company cannot make it as a private business it has no business being in business. If this car was even mildly economical it would stand on its own merits and not need a government bailout.

Really? @ 5/3/2013 11:01 AM

Interesting.. The Govt bails out the other Car Manufacturers that couldnt manage their companies properly, money which as NOT been fully repaid, and they dont want to help someone succeed? That is cuz Ovommit didnt get any in his pocket...

VikingPjq @ 5/3/2013 11:32 AM

Purpose built police car, GREAT IDEA!!! Selling at the price point of a luxury BMW or Mercedes. BAD IDEA.... You're selling a car to tax payer funded agencies. Make the same car and sell it for $30,000, you have a winner. the projected $80,000 range, it was doomed from the start.

Jim B. @ 5/3/2013 12:45 PM

VikingPjq, where did you hear the $80,000 figure? I've loosely followed the E7 in the news since it was first announced and I've never heard that figure. The only think I've heard price-wise is that it would be competitive with other outfitted, patrol ready cars. Just curious as to where you got your numbers?

As far as the car goes, I'm sorry to see it go. I was looking forward to seeing it hit the streets. I don't really have anything to say with regards to whether they should have gotten the loan or not.

Buddahman @ 5/3/2013 3:21 PM

Thank you President Oboma! The future of law enforcement was going to be made available to us in 2013. This vehicle would have improved officer safety, would have housed computers and lights within the vehicle and would have saved departments thousands of dollars a year in fuel, through the 50+ mile a gallon with the use of diesel fuel, which you have said time and time again would be helpful to the environment. I guess your administration doesn't want to create jobs, advance safety of LEO's, or help the environment! BIG OIL WINS AGAIN!!

John A. Edwards

Bumper Morgan @ 5/3/2013 3:55 PM

The concept was never feasible:
-Chrysler chassis, German engine. No parts network, $70K per unit, which is 20-30K OVER the CVPI's outfitted cost, no parts were to be re-used (per the contract between cities and Carbon), Diesel fuel, which meant that many cities would have to convert or implement furling stations. Carbon Motors failed due to a poor business model, NOT a failure in obtaining a Govt. loan. It was doomed from the start.

Ulver @ 5/5/2013 11:29 PM

Knew it was going to crash, before it saw the light of day.

I am well-aware, the new breed of patrol cars by the "big three" are very likely excellent. Though I must say, the Ford with a twin-turbo, sounds like nothing but future probs, unless the use of a quality synthetic is in the mix.

The ol' "whale" and it's 4.6, will always be a classic....

CK @ 5/6/2013 5:23 AM

Carbon Motors should have named company Green Motors and they would have given him $500 MILLION. Carbon Motors is a name the morons in power wouldn't like to see be successful. The NO bama administration can bail out the big automakers, but are NOT for ANY independant business person!! They want to put ALL the small businesses OUT of business rather than help them in ANY form or fashion !!

Was looking forward to seeing a vehicle actually DESIGNED for law enforcement! Fire has theirs, EMS has theirs, HAZMAT has theirs...we're just STUCK !!! Screwed again !

John @ 5/7/2013 9:57 AM

Pretty funny guys. Obama doesn't give a loan to Carbon (which was never going to make it imo)and they go out of business. "It's Obama's fault" you scream. Obama gives a loan to Solyndra and they go out of business, "It's Obama's fault" you scream.

Thomas Verburg @ 5/8/2013 3:46 PM

For all of you photo op police Chiefs and other assorted big wigs, keep this in mind the next time our President wants you in a picture to show how he supposts law enforcement. I have wanted to see something like this car and pushed for something like it for the last 20+ years. When it finally looked like it was going to happen, it gets shot down. It would have been a boon to law enforcement and to officer safety, so how does this translate to President Obama being pro law enforcement ?

Jack Betz @ 5/21/2013 1:35 AM

Mistake number one was asking obama for so much as the time of day.

Andrew Charles @ 5/22/2013 1:07 AM

To my knowledge practically no-one got these advanced vehicle development loans introduced late in the Bush administration. Nissan and Ford got some money, Fisker got some (most of which they had to give back), and Tesla may have got some (which I believe they decided to repay early despite the strain on liquidity). But after four years of being told applications would be approved most applicants, including GM, Chrysler, Bright and Aptera gave up waiting. GM and Chrysler funded their programs from earnings, but startups Bright and Aptera folded when it became apparent that the promised DOE loans were never going to materialize. It is apparent that although the Energy Act required the DOE to fund development of advanced vehicles to improve CAFE, the department imposed enough onerous conditions and delays in approval to avoid actually handing over any funds, simply stringing along applicants until they went away. Bear in mind that Carbon, like Bright and Aptera, would have applied for their loan in 2008 or early 2009. It has taken more than 4 years for the DOE to admit they were never going to get any funds.

NerdCOP @ 6/4/2014 6:35 PM

I'm a conservative, right wing individual. With that being said, you absolutely CAN NOT blame the Obama administration for this. This is one of the few times where they made the right decision. The company was a JOKE! Their business model was extremely flawed. They horribly mismanaged their money. They made TONS of promises with no functional plan to deliver on those promises. They started development on a second vehicle line even though the police STILL wasn't ready for production.
In this case, the right call was made and the taxpayer's dollars weren't wasted (although I'm sure that found something equally stupid to waste it on).

R L W @ 8/12/2015 12:32 AM

Although I was pleased to see a purpose-built law-enforcement vehicle, I feel a bit of relief that if the company could not deliver, it did not distribute units that it could not support later, leaving departments with irreparable vehicles. I also do not think a company should rely on Federal money for survival, as it rarely ends well for the citizens. Look at Chrysler: German, now. Look at Ford: sold all their sterling foreign assets and practically Italian-owned. I would have been steamed to have this company subjected to lien or bought out by overseas investors. Maybe LEO's could pitch in a subscription to buy the company's assets, and call it a gift to future brethren. Let no setback kill the dream, and someday, someone will get a true Patrol Unit built.

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