Back in 2008, Barry Bernstein, a Philadelphia-based steel wholesaler, dreamed of bringing reliable, safe and affordable electric vehicles to the American car-buying public. He envisioned a future where large trucks and SUVs no longer dominated our roadways and decided that by electrifying low-priced Chinese cars, he could help the world overcome the energy crisis while also providing American consumers with electric vehicles (EVs) that were both practical and budget friendly.
To achieve these dreams, Bernstein created BG (Be Green) Automotive Group. Bernstein had high hopes for the company and even bigger future plans. He firmly believed that the American car-buying public would be drawn to EVs that did not follow "the route of three-wheeled vehicles that look like moon rovers" and did not approach the $100,00 price tag found on at least one electric roadster available back in 2008. There is potential in Bernstein's business model, but it was not to be. Bernstein has officially closed shop and BG Automotive Group is no more, saying, "I am exhausted and throwing in the towel. I'm going back to selling steel."
For BG Automotive Group, it's a sad ending to a company with a great vision. For the rest of the U.S.-based EV startups, this story is a reminder that as major automakers join the electric bandwagon, success will become even more difficult to achieve.