V-Vehicle shows off prototype - no pictures - of plastic shelled, high-mpg car
It's been ten months since we first heard about V-Vehicle Co. and its possible plan to begin building a high-mpg midsize vehicle by the end of 2010 or early 2011. Given the lack of information from V-Vehicle since then and the fact that the company did not get a $321.1 million DOE loan, things seem to be pretty stalled at the San Diego-based company that wanted to build a manufacturing facility in Louisiana.
But maybe things aren't as dead as they appear. According to local Louisiana media, V-Vehicle "gave test rides of what the company calls a game-changing car to a limited audience of state officials and media" including Gov. Bobby Jindal. Sadly, no photos were allowed, but the event did give us more information about the car that is apparently still on some sort of track.
VVC continues the hunt for funding, for example. It already has $90 million in private funding and is looking for $100 million more. The company will also reapply for DOE loan money, VVC interim chief executive Ray Lane told local news outlet 2 The Advocate, adding that, "We can pay it back without a problem." VVC is promising to release details about a retail distribution plan in the next month or two.
As for the car itself, VVC says it will be "very affordable" and we've heard it will get around 40 mpg. One reporter who saw the car, a hatchback, told Green Car Reports it looks like a cross between a Volkswagen Golf and a Dodge Neon. VVC says the car is about as long as a Toyota Corolla and as wide as a BMW 5 series.
The body would use white composite panels (think Th!nk) because, as Lane said, "There's no reason to use steel. Plastic is a perfect shell for a car." What does a plastic exterior gain you? 2 The Advocate writes, "VVC hopes to turn the vanilla look into a positive, with options to transfer licensed sports logos, abstract art, even photos of pets and kids onto the blank color slate." These graphics could apparently be easily changed. So far, the first production prototype (65 more are planned) has 5,000 miles on it, so if anyone sees an unusual white car cruising the roads in Louisiana or around San Diego, feel free to snap us a picture.
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