• Jul 12th 2010 at 7:01PM
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We got a little more information from Phoenix Motorcars today about the introduction of the company's "newly configured Sports Utility Truck" this week. As we mentioned this morning, the SUT has been a long time coming and Bryon Bliss, Phoenix Motorcars' VP of sales and marketing, said that:
While many would criticize us for returning again from the "ashes", we are truly here to stay. It's been a long road for us but one well worth waiting for.
Bliss also answered a few of our questions about the company and the car. Here's the transcript:
ABG: What exactly happened during Phoenix's bankruptcy? Is that all behind the company now? Is/was any of this accurate?

Bliss: Al Yousuf LLC, one of our primary investors, purchased the assets of the company out of bankruptcy. We continue to operate under the trade name Phoenix Motorcars with a mission to complete the Phoenix SUT and have begun some other interesting projects in the alternative fuel industry. This road bump is behind us and we are back on track and picking up speed toward vehicle deliveries.

ABG: What prompted the change from 100-mile to 70-mile range on the SUT? What, exactly, are the differences in the truck now vs. before?

Bliss: To meet customer needs we are now offering multiple battery pack solutions. Unlike our historic strategy of being sole sourced for our battery solution, which didn't work out so well for us, Phoenix has become battery agnostic and capable of integrating the best advances to power our Phoenix SUT.

ABG: What happened to the SUV? Is that still in the works?

Bliss: We are focusing primarily on the commercial Phoenix SUT product. The SUV was always more of a consumer product. As we are delaying a consumer launch we are choosing to direct focus on the available product, the Phoenix SUT.

ABG: How closely is Phoenix's future determined by what happens with SsangYong? Is the powertrain convertible enough to put into another body if need be? How difficult would that be, and how would it affect performance?

Bliss: We are very aware of what is happening with Ssangyong. The short answer is that it does not affect our near term product plans and we keep in close communications with what is happening.

[Source: Phoenix Motorcars]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      > So Altairnano's batteries turned out to be vaporware?

      The Altairnano batteries are not vaporware, but are rather expensive. A 35kWh pack at $2/Wh would be $70k per truck.

      The bankruptcy court documents (I have copies of all of them) showed that Phoenix had 17 complete Altairnano battery packs declared as assets.

      The Altair pack would allow for the ultra-rapid charge in minutes, but buyers still may not want to pay $70k for that feature. The Altair price should come down over time -- maybe by half.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So Altairnano's batteries turned out to be vaporware?

      They're stuck with that grille because the shape of the Actyon front end has the body work sloping downwards from the tip of the hood. It'd take major cosmetic surgery to smooth that out... it wasn't a problem on the gasoline-diesel Actyon because trucks need grilles for their radiators... electric cars don't need such huge heat exchangers.

      I actually love the Actyon's looks, having seen (and driven) it in the flesh. The clunky plastic interior... not so much. The more expensive Kyrons and Rextons have better plastics and materials. The Actyon has the same flashy and quirky interior design... just without the materials to make it work.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Did they style this thing in the dark? It looks like what would happen if you took the team responsible for the Pontiac Aztec and told them to design a truck.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It was Ssanyoung, a Korean auto maker, that designed it, not Phoenix. Admittedly, there are better looking designs out there, but Ssanyoung is a struggling company that was eager for any deal to increase sales, and they gave Phoenix a good price for "gliders" (vehicles without a powertrain installed).

        It is nice to know that Phoenix is willing to look elsewhere after the fiasco with the wildly expensive (about $2,000 per Kwh stored) Altairnano batteries. There are other suppliers with a much better price/performance ratio, the current leader being Tesla at $566 per Kwh, and Nissan may come in even lower.
        • 5 Years Ago
        They couldn't have picked a better body design as a base? Use Ford Ranger or Chevy Colorado bodies at least!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, it's sooo much uglier than the F-150 or the Ram. Riiiiiiiight. Styling is in the eye of the beholder, perhaps. How many of you want to admit that you bought your last truck because you thought it was "pretty." Phoenix should have made the front end more aerodynamic. As this is an all-electric truck it needs no "grill" to speak of, the current front end only creates aerodynamic drag. Look at the Toyota Previa for a better design. Could fleets deal with its cab over design? I think so.

        As to the battery supplier, Phoenix made the right move to get out from under a raw deal like that. They will have a ton of options such as Magna, Bosch, etc., to supply their needs competitively. The future is bright for the Phoenix SUT. I just wish they were planning on selling them to the public, the article made it sound as though they would not be.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think I saw one of these on the Golden Gate Bridge a few weeks back - just saw the front, had no idea what it was. My first guess was something from China.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I greatly dislike well funded companies who plow through millions of dollars yet never get to product. Loremo, Aptera, Phoenix comes to mind.
      yet they keep existing for many years..

      it is just not that hard or expensive to make a series production, ESPECIALLY a conversion job
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