• Mar 29th 2010 at 4:38PM
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Carbon Motors E7 - Click above for high-res image gallery

Carbon Motors Corp. plans to deliver its first police car in 2013 – assuming the company's request for a $310 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy is approved. As we mentioned nearly three years ago, Carbon is diving into the rarefied purpose-built vehicle segment with the goal of delivering thousands of its "E7" police cars to municipalities across the country, powered by a BMW twin-turbo inline-six diesel engine.

Unlike the police cars typically put out by the Detroit 3, built on a modified civilian platform and returned to civilian duty at the end of its life cycle, the E7 will use an aluminum space frame covered in composite panels. Patrol-related hardware and flashing lights are already integrated, and since the body panels will be paint-free, graphics will be applied with vinyl decals. Sold directly to law enforcement agencies (not through a dealer network), the vehicles would be returned back to Carbon Motors at the end of their service life for reconditioning or dismantled for parts.

The automaker reportedly has the buyers lined up. "We have over 13,000 reservations from 350-plus law enforcement agencies in 48 states," says CEO William Santana Li. While the company is funded by private investors, it needs the Obama administration's loan approval to get rolling. The decision is expected over the summer. With the money in hand, Carbon Motors has scheduled deliveries to follow 36 months later.



[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]


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  • 40 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Everybody here is afraid of change.

      It is creating jobs for the US.

      Europe has BMW taxis....

      If you are afraid of change then you will not move forward.

      It is intimidating to only those who need the intimidation.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Regardless of the viability of the police-oriented Carbon, I LOVE the idea of a 'purpose built car'. Obviously all cars are somewhat 'purpose built' -they roll, get you places- but in this era of painted bumpers, stupid, functionless grillework, over designed headlights, there's an appeal in a simple vehicle. Dentproof panels, tough upholstery, washable and designed to get extraordinary mpg.. this could all be an amalgamation of the early Volvos, Checkers, simple Jeep-type vehicles.. I dunno, I just feel there's some inspiration from this car that could be built upon for common people.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This company sounds shady as hell. First of all, who asked for this? Ford, Chevy and Chrysler already make cop cars that police departments are very happy with, or know will satisfy them in the future!

      How many genius engineers and policemen have had amazing ideas for cop cars and never made it past the napkin stages? No one is going to give you any money to start your company up! The system in place clearly works and is used around the world. You don't need specialized police cars!

      The $310 million dollar loan from the Energy Department reeks of cronyism. Why is the US government supporting this with such a large amount? I'm presuming Homeland Security and other Federal agencies are going to be forced to buy this car now. Basically, the people behind Carbon Motors have got it made.

      All the people who talk trash about lower-income people living off the government on welfare should look at this as a case study for how individuals use the government and taxpayer money to get rich. For some, it's not ok that the poor get money to pay basic expenses with in hard times, but when some of your buddies want money for some pie-in-the-sky, unnecessary project that may be a scam, you write the check without hesitation.

      I agree, this car will never get made. It ranks right up there with the F-22 Raptor fighter jet scam.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hey, hey now. At least the F-22 is cool.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Corner49, wow, I have no idea how to respond to your post.

        Um, first of all, I'm sorry, I made a mistake by calling the F-35 the F-23. Whatever, I'm not an idiot, I know what the F-23 is, don't baby me!

        Secondly, that comment about "Civics not racing Lamborghinis..." was probably spot on, but not for what you think. The F-22, like the Lamborghini, needs constant service or it won't work!!! The Chinese held war games that determined that they could beat the F-22, even though it is a superior jet through numbers. The F-22 is too expensive and too maintenance heavy to be effective in a war! It is a joke of a product that was never intended to be used thoroughly by the military! It's a SCAM.

        I guess the F-35 is moving along, but even you yourself don't sound so sure about it. Don't be ridiculous.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Seriously, the F-22 was cool, but when a fighter jet has been around since the time you were 4 years old and hasn't even been put into service yet, you know something is wrong. In World War II, militaries were developing weapons in months! Plus, the mechanics gave the thing the kiss of death with the "hangar queen" status. It turns out that all the people that insulted the Russian fighter jets were totally wrong; they were practical, we weren't.

        What is going on with the F-23 anyways? I was under the impression they were taking this seriously, but I haven't heard much about it recently. My friend was working on it as part of his first job 5 years ago.

        I bet the military knows the future lies with unmanned drones, and is just keeping the program under wraps.

        Carbon Motors, getting back on point, sounds like a pie in the sky dream. I see absolutely no point to that vehicle.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Roger, sounds like you've followed a little too much propoganda. The F-22 was put in service. It was not used in combat. Completely different. Even without going into combat, it did it's job. Metaphor: "Civics don't want to race Lamborghinis, therefore, stay off the track." The F-22 was the best and baddest, and therefore deterred threats that knew they couldn't compete. In the sky, "you're racing for pinks".

        Also, the YF-23 was tested alongside the YF-22. The 23 didn't have thrust vectoring and the 22 won and was produced. The 23 was sick looking tho, they were black. Lol.

        The F-35 is "replacing" the 22. If you can call it "replacing". The 22 was a dog-fighter. The 35 is not.

        I work for a company that produces the carbon fiber that is and was used in both the 22 and 35. We're still getting orders for fiber, so I assume it is moving along.

        Another thing, planes, especially fighter planes, are not cars. It generally takes an auto company 7-10 years to go from idea to sales floor. Consider that when you're questioning aircraft development.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They've done a lot of good things and addressed almost all of the roadblocks to building a successful police car, except address cost. And that will sink them.
      • 5 Years Ago
      13,000 orders is a very small amount. I think this thing is completely impractical. What about PARTS? Police cars are in need of parts all the time. What makes the parts affordable is the fact that the Police cars are based off of cars that are mass marketed. We have more than enough capable Police cars. We can spend the money elsewhere.
      • 5 Years Ago
      And the looting continues...

      Another scam outfit setting up a shell company to milk hundreds of million$$ from the U.S. taxpayer from Federal energy subsidies.

      They join similar outfits like Tesla that will never be viable and will fold after the loot is shifted to offshore bank accounts.

      What an astonishingly corrupt government we have.

        • 5 Years Ago
        boy you and Mowhawk are full of it.

        Tesla PRODUCES CARS. Vaporware is by definition something promised that never appears.

        There is tesla roadsters out there now. That isn't vaporware.
        • 5 Years Ago
        What an astonishingly DUMB government we have. This company and Tesla are vaporware.

        Keep that money with Ford, GM, or even Chrysler.

        I thought this company was a crock all along.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You act like they've already gotten the loan. Some people believe the government controls GM and Chrysler and will do everything it takes to make them succeed. IF so then why would they help a company that would take a bite out of their fleet operations? Wouldn't this cut into future Caprice and current Tahoe and Charger Interceptor sales?
      • 5 Years Ago
      So Carbon wants a loan from the federal government. The purpose of this company is to sell to municipalities using public money. How can this even be legal. If the car actually comes to fruition how do you think they will be paid for? I would guess some sort of federal grant. So the whole program will just bleed money and for what 50 or so(I really have no idea) employees, and a car that's overkill for 90% of police work. What would the force use as unmarked cars. ?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I really don't think until terminator X comes out that Carbon has a chance. The purpose built vehicle stay's in the military where the need & the funding is where you have an IED problem. Good packaging,power,+ the current police requirements based on a production vehicle are the best solution. I think the new Chevy is the best car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      As a resident of Connersville, Indiana (the community Carbon selected) I can enthusiatstically say we are in financially deep waters. Indiana and this community have promised over $26,000,000.00 of economic incentives and I personally feel it is money wasted.

      The comments on here are spot on. It is a farce.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Anyone wanna make a friendly wager that this will never make production?
      • 5 Years Ago
      What happens to this loan when the company goes bankrupt?

      Aluminum space frame? BMW engine? Sounds really expensive to maintain and repair...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Aside from the cost of maintaining BMW diesels, I just can't see how this would be financially viable for a police force. Who does the repairs - and how much would it cost to train the technicians?

      Not only that, but if the vehicle HAS to be returned to the manufacturer, is that really a 'purchase?'

      I can also see this being a problem for the tv/movie industry. There are companies that specialize in recreating emergency service vehicles for use in tv shows and movies, who pride themselves on being accurate with the details. If they can't actually get their hands on a Carbon E7, well, those who critique such things in the movies are gonna have a bit of an issue...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wrong, move making is a non-issue.

        They'll simply rent/borrow it from their local Police Dept.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Just from a quick glance, I'd say the hollywood magic makers could probably modify a Chrysler 300 to look like an E7.
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