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Back in 2008, Barry Bernstein, a Philadelphia-based steel wholesaler, dreamed of bringing reliable, safe and affordable electric vehicles to the American car-buying public. He envisioned a future where large trucks and SUVs no longer dominated our roadways and decided that by electrifying low-priced Chinese cars, he could help the world overcome the energy crisis while also providing American consumers with electric vehicles (EVs) that were both practical and budget friendly.

To achieve these dreams, Bernstein created BG (Be Green) Automotive Group. Bernstein had high hopes for the company and even bigger future plans. He firmly believed that the American car-buying public would be drawn to EVs that did not follow "the route of three-wheeled vehicles that look like moon rovers" and did not approach the $100,00 price tag found on at least one electric roadster available back in 2008. There is potential in Bernstein's business model, but it was not to be. Bernstein has officially closed shop and BG Automotive Group is no more, saying, "I am exhausted and throwing in the towel. I'm going back to selling steel."

For BG Automotive Group, it's a sad ending to a company with a great vision. For the rest of the U.S.-based EV startups, this story is a reminder that as major automakers join the electric bandwagon, success will become even more difficult to achieve.

[Source: Forbes]


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  • 11 Comments
      • 4 Months Ago
      Why did I never hear about this company before today, I wonder?
        • 4 Months Ago
        Same here. It would have been interesting to see what they had to offer.
      • 4 Months Ago
      The demise of BG is sad to hear. But the Think was dead for a while as well and it's back on track now. There's always hope.
      • 4 Months Ago
      I never had any faith in this attempt at a company but it is still sad to see another EV company go down. These guys at least seemed on the level unlike some of the other scam-ish looking companies.
      • 4 Months Ago
      Just when as a dealer there was a car co that could hold up to Miles SUV. Bam! another let down. You cannot charge a customer the same price for an electric car as a gas car. You will loose the customer before you go into manufacturing. The electric car for the next ten years will be a second car and thats where the price should be! If there was an investor who did not loose there money in the last 3 years they should look at this like the cell phone. Remember that suitcase phone and the brick. Electric Cars????
      • 4 Months Ago
      I have an ideal for an electric car I drawn it back in 1980 . I've been trying to find a comany that would buy my ideal . This would put the electric car on the top of the saling list of cars.
        • 4 Months Ago
        Learn to spell ideA and you'll have a chance at glory.
      • 4 Months Ago
      He wanted 150 million of DOE dollars to build a factory that would have used Chinese car frames/bodies, and he's upset he did not get the money. The car frame he decided on may have been very good, but Chinese cars have a very bad PR image in North America. Only way to get around that, if you much cheaper than everyone else.

      "BG could have brought a credible battery car to market in North America for $30,000 or so."

      Same price as the Leaf.

      I'm not surprised he did not get any money.
        • 4 Months Ago
        Another small outfit down. I think they will all disappear soon.

        You just can't beat mass production on price, reliability, etc! Building the car in China or going cheap in other ways ( 3 wheels, smaller than a geo metro, plastic body panels, etc ) is just not going work, period.

        I'm glad some big names have taken the leap to producing electric cars. Conversions will still be hot, but the future for electric is mass produced.
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Middle Way. Agreed regarding mass production.

        It is disappointing to hear but not too surprising. RIP BG Automotive Group.

        Gaining support from government will be difficult outside the major automakers (of course there are exceptions such as Tesla) - just like Blade EV in OZ:

        http://green.autoblog.com/2010/07/28/australias-blade-ev-maker-reportedly-upset-over-government-opti/
      • 4 Months Ago
      BG, was always vague with their message. Their web site gave little insight to the product. It was also not a very attractive car making the vision of selling many units hard to swallow. A concept most EV's manufacturers can't get over. Function does not trump form. A car is an extension of one's personality. Aside from the few that don't care about a car's aesthetics, most people buy a car for it's looks and perceived status. It was a poor business model.
      That noted, I have high reservations for Think as well. It's too expensive and those that do have the money have the option of much nicer equipped and styled cars. Had think made a much more attractive car, I don't thin we'd have this conversation.