• Dec 18, 2011
Carbon Motors, the manufacturer of the purpose-built E7 law enforcement vehicle, has sent an open letter to members of President Barack Obama's cabinet urging the administration to approve the company's Department of Energy Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan. Carbon Motors applied for a $300 million ATVM loan two years ago, but has yet to secure the funding. With members of congress eying any and all ways to stem the flow of government spending, there's some concern the ATVM loan program will dry up entirely.

The letter specifically underscores why Carbon Motors deserves its loan on a point by point basis, tackling everything from the environmental impact of the current fleet of law enforcement vehicles to the lack of coordination among law enforcement agencies as they attempt to retrofit retail vehicles for law enforcement duty. The company says that its diesel-powered E7 could reduce law enforcement fuel consumption and emissions by as much as 40 percent, and that building the vehicle could create as many as 10,000 jobs. Hit the jump for the full open letter.
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Carbon Motors Chairman Issues Open Letter to U.S. President's Cabinet

Carbon Motors in Support of U.S. Law Enforcement and the Role of Government

CONNERSVILLE, Ind., Dec. 15, 2011-- The following is an open letter from William Santana Li, chairman and chief executive officer, Carbon Motors Corporation, to select members of the President's Cabinet:

To:

The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice
The Honorable John E. Bryson, Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce
The Honorable Hilda L. Solis, Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor
The Honorable Ray LaHood, Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation
The Honorable Steven Chu, Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy
The Honorable Janet A. Napolitano, Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
The Honorable Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency
The Honorable Jacob J. Lew, Director, Office of Management & Budget

cc:

The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Vice President of the United States

Dear Members of the President's Cabinet,

I am writing to you about a matter of national significance and of great importance to our country's law enforcement first responders generally, and specifically each of the departments for which you have responsibility. We share concerns expressed by countless law enforcement professionals to us over the last nine years:

our brave first responders are asked to secure our country, patrol our streets, and protect our communities without the appropriate equipment to empower them to do so in a manner that is safe for the officer and the public at large;
the vehicles being used today are highly inefficient – both economically and environmentally; and
the vast majority of the vehicles in the existing law enforcement fleet use passenger cars intended for retail consumer use and which were not manufactured on U.S. soil by American workers.

Carbon Motors Corporation is a homeland security technology company that is developing the world's first and only purpose-built law enforcement patrol vehicle. Over two years ago, Carbon Motors filed an application for a loan of over $300 million with the Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) program. The ATVM direct loan program was established in a bi-partisan manner by the Bush Administration and has been carried on by the Obama Administration.

We have secured a mothballed automotive facility located in a town with unemployment at rates significantly higher than the national average – Connersville, Indiana – a victim of the fallout of automotive industry at the end of the last decade. With the ongoing criticisms aired concerning the U.S. Department of Energy's loan guarantee programs and the ATVM direct loan program, our country faces a critical decision now that will have significant impact on our first responders, taxpayers, environment, highways, our manufacturing employment base and the security of our homeland.

There are 840,000+ law enforcement first responders – sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters – who get up every morning and put themselves in harm's way to protect and serve each and every one of us, over 18,000 of them have already made the ultimate sacrifice. They patrol our streets and neighborhoods using gas-guzzling retail passenger cars that were not designed for this relentless mission and which, after the necessary aftermarket retrofitting process, do not meet federal safety standards applicable to all other passenger vehicles on the road.

While we know each of you join in our nation's unwavering support for its first responders, we wanted to highlight certain significant issues facing each of your respective critical missions and Carbon Motors' contribution to a comprehensive solution:

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY; Secretary Steven Chu
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY; Administrator Lisa P. Jackson

ISSUE: The largest and most visible combined fleet of vehicles deployed by our federal, state and local governments is among the most inefficient consuming over 1.5 billion gallons of fuel every year and emitting over 14 million tons of CO2. This at a time when our country is desperately trying to reduce its dangerous dependence on foreign oil and reduce its greenhouse gas footprint.

SOLUTION: Approve the Carbon Motors ATVM loan and our country can begin to reduce these figures by 40%.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE; Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY; Secretary Janet A. Napolitano

ISSUE: Presently, our over 19,000 law enforcement agencies fend for themselves in an uncoordinated manner as they cobble together passenger vehicles meant for retail consumers with the vast array of aftermarket equipment necessary to successfully carry out their mission, while our country provides purpose-built vehicles for nearly every other unique public function – fire trucks, ambulances, postal services, trash collection, and a massive fleet of purpose-built vehicles of all types and sizes for the military.

SOLUTION: Approve the Carbon Motors ATVM loan and our country will finally have the world's first truly purpose-built homeland security technology platform to better secure our country – inclusive of roving WMD threat detection capability. Let's focus our law enforcement resources on protecting our citizens, and put an end to the inefficient practice of operating 19,000+ uncoordinated automotive assembly operations by law enforcement agencies nationwide.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR; Secretary Hilda L. Solis
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY; Administrator Lisa P. Jackson

ISSUE: With the nation hovering near double-digit unemployment rates and virtually everyone in our country rightly focused on American jobs, our state, local and federal law enforcement agencies imported the over 500,000 patrol vehicles used by our law enforcement personnel from foreign soil. This is an unacceptable use of U.S. taxpayer dollars.

SOLUTION: Approve the Carbon Motors ATVM loan and we will bring these jobs home to America, where they rightfully belong. It is estimated that our project will create 10,000+ new American jobs of national importance by building a technological breakthrough on U.S. soil in a region decimated by the automotive downturn – and we will do so in a mothballed brownfield facility we have already begun restoring.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION; Secretary Ray LaHood

ISSUE: The over 500,000 law enforcement vehicles patrolling our neighborhoods today do not meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, putting both our first responders and citizens on the road at risk. We, as a country, would never stand for the placement of a U.S. soldier in a similarly haphazardly-equipped vehicle and it is unacceptable to do this with our nation's brave first responders.

SOLUTION: Approve the Carbon Motors ATVM loan and our first responders will be driving a vehicle that will meet or exceed all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards inclusive of all the law enforcement and homeland security equipment integrated into the vehicle platform.

OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT & BUDGET; Director Jacob J. Lew

ISSUE: Today's practice of allowing over 19,000 law enforcement agencies across the country to individually retrofit consumer-oriented vehicles is extremely costly and inefficient, with expenditures at the local, state, and federal level expected to be on the order of $100 billion over the next decade.

SOLUTION: Approve the Carbon Motors ATVM loan and we will provide the nation with the only product presently in the ATVM loan program that will save the government a significant amount of money. The purpose-built, turn-key distribution of the Carbon E7 will reduce maintenance costs, improve durability, and, combined with the fuel savings and the extensive capabilities of the vehicle, result in dramatic savings for U.S. taxpayers nationwide. If the entire fleet were to be converted to Carbon E7 vehicles, the country could save over $10 billion taxpayer dollars over a period of ten years.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE; Secretary John E. Bryson

ISSUE: Our nation continues to run unacceptably high trade imbalances, as American manufacturing has eroded and the nation has continued to devolve into an importer of foreign goods rather than an exporter of American innovation.

SOLUTION: Approve the Carbon Motors ATVM loan allowing our company to complete our project and respond to the nearly three-dozen requests by countries around the world for export of our breakthrough American product helping to put even more Americans to work.

As one of our Senior Advisors, The Honorable Lee H. Hamilton (vice-chair of the 9/11 Commission), has often remarked: the first role of government is to protect its citizens. There are lives at stake and we stand ready to do our part to better enable our first responders to meet their critical mission and, in the process, improve officer and highway safety, reduce harmful emissions and dependence on foreign oil, and put Americans back to work.

We need your help in making this happen, especially as the matter we have raised is a cross-cabinet or interagency concern. The first step to take is the timely approval of our ATVM loan as it is in the national security and socioeconomic interests of the United States of America.

On behalf of the 840,000+ first responders across our great country we thank you in advance for your timely support of this critical national initiative.

Relentless,

/s/

William Santana Li
Chairman and CEO
Carbon Motors Corporation


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  • 88 Comments
      xautoguy
      • 3 Years Ago
      Carbon is nothing but a scam. It has been around for almost 10 years first as North, now as Carbon. There loan app has been applied for since 09, and still no word. All the reservations they have are backed up by nothing, no PO, nothing. What department wants a BMW diesel? You can only guess what parts cost for those when compared to ford,Gm, and dodge. They aren't going to get the loan. They can't do a car for 350 million. Thy only have the 1 reskinned BMW show car that they keep toting around. They have sold the city of Connersville a bill of goods. The more you look into this the more it doesn't make sense
      Mobis21
      • 3 Years Ago
      Carbon Motors reminds me of a ponzi scheme. Their business model is unsustainable because of its reliance on a single purpose use vehicle which cannot be diversified into any other market segments. I don't see this getting even one round of federal government funding. This corporation should just go peddle its wares in the ether of never, never land.
      Alan Ko
      • 3 Years Ago
      Oh, and let me understand this: You want to use my tax dollars to subsidize a inferior product that my -other- tax dollars then buy, in order to pull me over and take even more dollars from me? Let me think - umm - No.
      rondyke
      • 3 Years Ago
      Mohammad, This article, by definition, is political, so you can't avoid it. If you want to avoid politics, you shouldn't bother to comment on it.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Avinash Machado
      • 3 Years Ago
      Quite a risky venture.
      SP33DFR34K
      • 3 Years Ago
      The sad thing is that this will be a long drawn out thing, and it SHOULD be approved quickly. Not only is it a no-brainer, but it is a loan. It would be money paid back in more ways than one (jobs, energy savings, etc.) with a product that is USEFUL. The government spends more than the $300 million EACH WEEK with all the war spending being the "Police of the World."
        tinted up
        • 3 Years Ago
        @SP33DFR34K
        Not a no brainer. The key things to pick up on in the press release is that it COULD reduce fuel expense and emissions. Also that it COULD create 10,000 jobs. It COULD also create 5 jobs, and COULD also be a big waste of money. The no brainer is picking between the three police sedans that Ford, Chrysler, and GM make as apposed to this stillborn TURD!
        Lachmund
        • 3 Years Ago
        @SP33DFR34K
        start thinking...please
        Bootkicker
        • 3 Years Ago
        @SP33DFR34K
        Yeah loans given out by the Government always get paid back and create jobs. LOL!
      alexkoolur
      • 3 Years Ago
      The liberalization of America...everyone feels entitled to everything....including hack start ups. There is PLENTY of private captial willing to invest in new start ups....but they are savy with their $ for good reason...the very fact that this $ is being asked for just shows how stupid the gov't has been in years past throwing good $ (our $) after BAD $. Grand Central Statation in NYC was built without a DIME of taxpayer $ and without ANY interuption to train service during that time.....that would NEVER happen today...union labor would be forced onto the project, take 10x the amount of time and cost to build etc...etc.... This country is weak by it's own doing, voting in these liberal hacks who treat the Gov't like a never ending piggy bank and then pretending like "taxing the rich" is the solution to the problem, simply because it sounds good to the gov-dependent bum mindset they have created by making it so easy and comfortable to live off of handouts.....
        Zoom
        • 3 Years Ago
        @alexkoolur
        You're saying Railroads received no government assistance? Ummm...sure. The government didn't facilitate handing over vast swaths of land across the country to them. Also, they had no competition since there were no cars. The horse was easy to beat.
        fly by wireless
        • 3 Years Ago
        @alexkoolur
        No complaints about OIL subsidies? Wow, now that's unexpected from a reich winger! (/sarcasm)
        Mobis21
        • 3 Years Ago
        @alexkoolur
        Your rant makes absolutely zero sense. Start ups from Military contractors to oil companies have always sought government funding. Do some homework and you'll find many, many large corporations that have in fact been on the government teats since the late 40's. Also your swipe at unionized labor is telling and pathetic. This is what happens to folks who believe in the myth of piggly, wiggly, fantasy world of small government.
      ojfltx
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is what happens when the government meddles in the private sector. Everyone comes back with their hands extended for some cash. Can we now say the government has too much power and needs to be cut back to size?
      Jason Alan Sipes
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is why Departments like the Department of Energy need to go and the government needs to stop giving loans to private companies. If your product was sound it would already have investors and preorders for their cars. As of right now they just want a loan because of their claims that the car get's better fuel economy and less emissions... Here is what would happen pretty clearly... 1) Government approves loan and uses it to promote how the government is helping to better our affects on the environment. 2) The company takes the money to start building the cars without investors or orders. 3) Without a source of income the money dries up in a matter of months leaving them with few completed cars and a bunch of shells in a warehouse. 4) No orders filled and the money is gone and now the company permanently goes under wasting tax payer money that should've never gone to them in the first place. Now you might tell me, oh your just a typical neo-con(I'm a libertarian BTW), but this has already happened to countless companies already and the main reason California is up to their ears in debt. We should do what we can to help the environment but wasting tax payer money on a police car that won't sell isn't going to do it. Police departments need reliable vehicles with cheap parts, this is why the Crown Victoria is so highly used. Also before anyone tries to jump on me, no we don't need an entire department of energy to regulate government run power plants and regulate nuclear waste transportation.
        Jason Alan Sipes
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jason Alan Sipes
        Here come the blind disagrees from blind people, if you think what I'm saying is a lie why don't you look into the government's donations into a Solar Panel company that flopped taking over a billion dollars with it and the jobs promised by the company. If you're going to disagree the least you could do is respond as to why.....
          Jason
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Jason Alan Sipes
          Government gets all the blame because they are "investing" with OUR money. Private investors invest with their own money. Plus, the Solyndra loan was restructured so that in case of bankruptcy, Obama's cronies would get paid back before the taxpayers would. In this case, the "entrepreneurs" only invested in Solyndra because Obama promised them free taxpayer money.
          ReTired
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Jason Alan Sipes
          Why does the "Gummint" get all the blame, when the private investment in the "Solar Company" was more than double the DOE guarantees. Yeah...the Federal "Due Diligence" may have been flubbed, but so was that of the private sector investors - if there was any indication of the incipient failure. IMO, a lot of the "Failures" of public business support is due to the sleazy scam artists who call themselves "Entrepreneurs" - then look for somebody vulnerable to sucker so they can order the Veyron SS.
          Lachmund
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Jason Alan Sipes
          not your goverment's fault your people are stupid
        EJ
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jason Alan Sipes
        1.) You do know that you just replied to your own comment. 2.) You are just saying the same thing most everyone on this board is saying. Which isn't much.
      rex
      • 3 Years Ago
      Our tax dollars in a private business? Can you say Solyndra? If they had a viable business plan, (product demand, cost, price, profitable projections you can believe, etc) they would have investors/lenders. We do not need our tax dollars supporting another green love. If you think it is such a good deal call them up and see if you can invest your money not our money. . It is a private company ya know. Oh say can you see......the windmills, Solyndra, volt...all needing your tax dollars for nought...
      Boost Retard
      • 3 Years Ago
      Every solution they offer is, "Approve the Carbon Motors ATVM loan..." and what? They'll build a proprietary, untested solution that only Carbon Motors is the supplier for that shares zero parts with any other vehicle (except for that German-built diesel engine), that nobody is trained to work on, that is pitched with a massive, bullshit laden, flag waving guilt trip in the name of freedom, safety and national security at a time when the competition (aka The Big Three) are stepping up their game with new products. How many prototypes have been involved with any actual, real world law enforcement testing?
        Tomguy
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Boost Retard
        I was going to make a comment saying pretty much this exact same thing, but I see someone else has already thought the same thing. We need to make sure that most Americans are fully aware of the multitude of reasons a fleet would NEVER choose a car from this company. The current police car of choice for most is the Crown Vic because parts are a dime a dozen and when the city needs parts guess what? They have their own parts cars already! The Charger is getting to that point as well. I think we need to create a petition AGAINST wasting our taxpayer money on more vaporware like this company wants to produce.
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