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The good news from Phoenix Motorcars is that the company's all-electric SUT has passed the first round of crash tests. On Tuesday, at the Adelanto-based KARCO Engineering lab, the SUT completed front, oblique and offset impact crash tests.

While the Barker Hanger was still mostly empty on Friday, the day before the Alt Car Expo starts in Santa Monica, I caught up with the Phoenix Motors and Altairnano crew standing next to the electric Phoenix SUV prototype. Bryon Bliss and Daniel Elliot of Phoenix Motors said the SUV is currently going through safety testing, just like any other vehicle destined for commercial sales. In fact, that was their main message, that the electric SUV will drive and feel like an ICE SUV. The 480 ft lbs. o

As critics will quickly point out, the range, charging time and power of an electric vehicle's batteries need to be constantly improved if EVs are ever going to take off in America. Recently, Phoenix Motorcars put in an initial order of $750,000 for high-powered batteries from Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc. The batteries, proprietary nano-lithium ion batteries, use a "nano-structured negative electrode material called nano Lithium Titanium Oxide, or nLTO, that replaces the graphite used in 'stand