This week, at the AFVI Expo, I moderated a panel on the roll-out of electric vehicle products from Miles EV, Phoenix Motorcars and GEM. The representatives were Bryon Bliss, vice president of sales and marketing for Phoenix, Jeff Boyd, COO of Miles, and Richard Kaspar, GEM's president and COO. Oh, and our friend Ed Begley, Jr. was there as well, continuing his relationship with Phoenix.
The purpose of the panel was for each company to present their case not only for EVs but for their particular products. Since these companies all offer vehicles with quite different capabilities and styles, they're not really competitors, and it was a congenial event. Since I expect our readers to be pretty familiar with the vehicle line-ups of these three companies, I won't go into details about them. There were a few things said during the 90 minutes that caught my ear, though, that I think you'll want to hear about.
- The Miles EV offices are in Santa Monica, CA. To commute to work, Boyd drives a prototype of the XS500, Miles' upcoming highway-speed battery-powered sedan. The price target is still $35,000 and deliveries should start in the third quarter of 2009. The sedan will be followed by an electric SUV. I told Boyd that the next time I'm in town, I'll be knocking on the office door, begging for a ride. I mean, it worked for the Roadster.
- Phoenix expects deliveries of its all-electric SUT to start at the end of June (yes, in six weeks). Certification should be finished June 1, Bliss said and the company has orders for 600 vehicles to fill as of today.
- GEM's big news is the addition of new options to the back cargo space of its work trucks. Since GEM vehicles have been selling for over a decade, GEM has had plenty of time to listen to customers and find out what they want/need. New covers and door types are now available, and you can see a list of GEM vehicle options here.