Carbon Motors Corp. plans to deliver its first police car in 2013 – assuming the company's request for a $310 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy is approved. As we mentioned nearly three years ago, Carbon is diving into the rarefied purpose-built vehicle segment with the goal of delivering thousands of its "E7" police cars to municipalities across the country, powered by a BMW twin-turbo inline-six diesel engine.
Unlike the police cars typically put out by the Detroit 3, built on a modified civilian platform and returned to civilian duty at the end of its life cycle, the E7 will use an aluminum space frame covered in composite panels. Patrol-related hardware and flashing lights are already integrated, and since the body panels will be paint-free, graphics will be applied with vinyl decals. Sold directly to law enforcement agencies (not through a dealer network), the vehicles would be returned back to Carbon Motors at the end of their service life for reconditioning or dismantled for parts.
The automaker reportedly has the buyers lined up. "We have over 13,000 reservations from 350-plus law enforcement agencies in 48 states," says CEO William Santana Li. While the company is funded by private investors, it needs the Obama administration's loan approval to get rolling. The decision is expected over the summer. With the money in hand, Carbon Motors has scheduled deliveries to follow 36 months later.