The team behind the Global-E is inspired by its Louisiana roots. You can tell by the message on the front end of the car, which reads "Louisiana Proud," and the license plate, which says "Our environment ... our future" and has a picture of a pelican. The pride is also apparent when you speak with members of the team, as we did during the Shakedown Stage of the Automotive X-Prize in Brooklyn, MI this week.
Global-E's headquarters are in New Orleans, but the company's initial assembling operation location is in Los Angeles. Right now, the company has a lot of ideas to make more fuel-efficient vehicles and is using a plug-in hybrid vehicle called the G1 (pictured) as a "technology testbed" for its entire product portfolio. Global-E's other vehicles are the Pulse, a five-door electric hatchback, and the E1, a five-passenger crossover that is still on the drawing board. Global-E is under contract to bring the Pulse out for someone else and it will potentially be distributed in Central and South America.
Being from Louisiana, Global-E has a unique insight into both the value of cleaner vehicles (see, obviously, the BP/Anadarko oil spill) and V-Vehicles, the secretive start-up that is hoping to build efficient cars in the Pelican State. The big difference between these two LA-based (see what we did there?) companies is, according to Global-E, what steps the companies need to get their vehicles on the road. Global-E has an aerospace and overseas automotive background and can develop and build the vehicles, it just needs some investment funds. V-Vehicles, on the other hand, needs people (like, for example, Global-E) to actually put its plans into production. Global-E thinks it is in the stronger position. Aside from working out some technical glitches during the vigorous testing environment that is the X-Prize, Global-E is also making friends with other participants, and said it is in discussions with two other teams to possibly build their cars at some point down the road.
As for the competition itself, Global-E originally entered both the Pulse and the G1 in the X-Prize, but is now focusing on the larger sedan. Global E calculated the 3,200-pound, $27,000 (estimated) G1 got over 80 miles per gallon equivalent in the mpge test during the Shakedown stage, so they're confident they will make it to the Finals Stage in July. We'll see soon enough.
Photos by Sebastian Blanco / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.