In an interview, Ichiro Sugioka, project leader of Volvo's Recharge electric car concept, says PML FlightLink is "currently working exclusively for us." If that was not clear enough, Ichiro adds "all their efforts is going into our projects." The interviewer presses for more information, even mentioning PML's relationship with Lotus, but Ichiro is very clear. You can see this exchange three minutes into the video below the fold.

Why is this notable? Green car fans will recall the PML's in-wheel motors were going to be a key part of the Zap-X. I guess we should have noticed the relationship was probably over because Zap said it had some exclusive rights with PML and then PML started to work with Volvo. Companies don't write press release saying relationships have fallen apart. So, what does this mean for the release date for the Zap-X, the Lotus-designed, affordable, electric car?

Zap never made an exact release date for the Zap-X public, so it's hard to say the date has slipped. I would assume the internal date must have slipped a little bit. While Zap makes great products, they are probably one of the more out-sourced electric vehicle companies. I always imagined Zap, Miles or Tesla would be bought out sooner or later by a large automaker trying to catch up.

This little soap opera makes me think the top automakers just might bypass the middle man and work with the smaller technology companies instead.

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[Source: Google Video]

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