SEMA Show 2006: Ed Begley Jr. promotes Phoenix SUT, encourages aftermarket involvement with EVs

Ed Begley Jr. says the aftermarket should look at electric vehicles and hybrids. While promoting the Phoenix Motorcars sport-utility truck, Begley acknowledged that electric vehicles have "lacked style," and that the aftermarket should embrace the segment. "We need SEMA. We need to work with all the aftermarket to give style to this vehicle," he said, noting that SEMA members have the "style, innovation and engineering" necessary to customize electric vehicles and hybrids.

Begley didn't waste a second of his press conference, touting the advantages of EVs and hybrids. He acknowledged that an electric vehicle can't perform some tasks but for most chores it is reliable. "You don't need a sledgehammer to put in a carpet tack," he explained. "I've been driving electric vehicles since 1970. I know they work and they've come a long way. If you can get the style and performance and do it cleaner, I say why not."

Officials from Phoenix Motorcars and Altairnano, the manufacturer of the NanoSafe battery system, were on hand during the brisk, unscripted press conference. Dan Reigert of Phoenix said a production run of 500 units is planned for 2007. Since the vehicle is based on a Korean-made chassis, the technology may be transferred to Korea for expanded production. The goals include 6,000 units in 2008 followed by 20,000 in 2009 and 100,000 in 2010. Besides the truck, Phoenix wants to develop an SUV.

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