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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 wisely posted a lengthy castigation of the decision, complete with not-so-thinly-veiled accusations of conspiracy and incompetence, on their website. Of course, it will take more than that to have the DOE reassess their application and so they are enlisting the aid of their "many thousands of supporters and interested stakeholders" and their Washington lobbyist to convince law makers and others that their application deserves reconsideration. Hit the jump for the press release as well as the form letter that you can send to your political representative on their behalf.


[Source: XP Vehicles]

PRESS RELEASE

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

DATE

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.

We need to invest in companies that are working on advanced technology to develop more fuel efficient, safer vehicles and will put Americans back to work in "greener" jobs.If you have any questions or would like a sample letter to send to Secretary Chu, feel free to contact XP Vehicles' Washington Lobbyist Janet Kopenhaver at 703-528-7822 or via email at janetk@eyeonwashington.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it . Thank you in advance for supporting advanced technology, less dependence on foreign oil and a cleaner environment.

Sincerely,YOUR NAME


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      The DOE must have had a good laugh with this one. Translations of what was submitted

      * Fortune 500-class extremely comprehensive 10 year detailed financials.
      An Excel Spread Sheet

      * Metrics that demonstrated that the XP car can save millions of lives annually.
      A statement of the fact that pillows are softer than steel.

      * Metrics that demonstrate that a gasoline/hybrid vehicle is dangerously carcinogenic when filled at a gas station compared to an XP Vehicle.
      A statement of the fact that gas is bad.

      * Engineering and IP metrics that beat every competitor on price, range, safety, TOC, efficiency, toxic safety and hundreds of other points.
      A statement of the fact that it all pencils out, really!

      * Examples of work from $3M of cash and person-hours previously invested by founders, DOE & partners.
      A statement of the fact that we've been spending a lot of time and very little money on this and can't convince anyone to give us any money whatsoever.

      * Lists of top auto and aerospace corporate partners, staff and resources, on stand-by, equaling thousands of people in all groups combined.
      Like a stand-by flight! They're all just waiting!

      * Validation of a deep team of core staff that have been developing the project and parts of the project for 3-15 years.
      We can't actually identify these people. Just trust us!

      * Samples of extensive international positive press coverage.
      This article for instance.

      * Proof that XP was the lowest overhead car company in the market which equates to the best chance to profit and return funds.
      It's proven, just give us the money and we'll prove it.

      * Market and marketing studies.
      People like pies in the sky, really!

      * CAD designs and engineering plans.
      A cool 3D picture.
        • 6 Months Ago
        Oh, it's easy to have the "lowest overhead" when you're not producing and not making prototypes and not doing any durability testing or crash testing. But hey, my overhead is even lower, as I don't have any fancy CAD program or glitzy web site!
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's hard being a cartoon car. Nobody takes you seriously even if you can drive off cliffs and float and fix your fenders with glue and rubber.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Unlike the applicants that were approved, XP hasn't actually built a single prototype, it's all computer aided design, computer renderings, and a few test components.

      There are plenty of people who have a "great idea" for a car but haven't actually tested their idea in the real world. I imagine more than a few of them have applied for these loans but will be turned down for the same reason - insufficient progress, and lack of any proof of the ability to produce their "great idea" car.

      Tesla Motors isn't from Detroit, but they got funding because they proved they could design, make, test, and manufacture a car, and they've already designed and made a working prototype for their 2nd model.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sounds like a good decision by the DoE to me.

      I think the DoE should loan money to Th!nk to open a factory in Indiana. They've got a full EV model that has already been crash tested ready to go. And Indiana-based Enerdel is ready to start supplying Li-Ion batteries to the Th!nk vehicles.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What a misleading headline!

      It makes it sound as if XP chose not to accept the loan.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I didn't realize it could be read that way until you mentioned it. If it had been a story about them turning down a loan I might have said "XP Vehicles refuse Doe loan etc." I apologize for the lack of clarity.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's exactly what I thought when I read the headline, lol!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Companies have to be sound financially to get this money. The govt should NOT waste its money with a company that has had 5 Name changes, 4 Reverse Splits, De listed from 3 Stock exchanges and has never made a profit except for accounting shenanigans in 1 year alone. Any company that fits those type parameters or any Parent company that is affiliated that has those same type parameters; should seek funding elsewhere. The US Government is NOT about to waste its investment when a track record of failure has been firmly established.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "...complete with not-so-thinly-veiled accusations of conspiracy and incompetence, on their website."

      I can see that making things worse for them. If I was thinking of investing, their poor reaction to this situation would put me off far more than the DOE's rejection.
      • 5 Years Ago
      You need a working prototype to get a loan. This company sounds like a scam to me.