Opportunity Knocking


"Keeping America competitive requires affordable energy. And here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world. The best way to break this addiction is through technology. "

President Bush in his State Of The Union, Jan. 31, 2006

Gasoline again around $1

When are we gonna learn? Expensive energy literally kills economic recovery. Gasoline prices in the U.S. hover around the $3.80-$4.00 per gallon. With the SEV slicing fuel consumption by three-quart, it is as if gasoline would cost around $1. According to Automotive News, Oct. 19th, 2009 U.S. Congress has approved a measure that will allow makers of three-wheel cars to receive funding for fuel-efficient technologies. The bill could be a boost to companies with alternative car designs. Aptera Motors and Elio Motors have argued that their three-wheel cars deserve federal funding that is meant to promote more energy-efficient vehicles. The new legislation would overturn an Energy Department rule that limited funding to four-wheel vehicles meeting emissions and fuel-economy benchmarks. The new guidelines will now allow vehicles that get an average of at least 75 mpg and can carry at least two adults, according to the report. What might be of interest  to the major car companies too, as lightweight vehicles allow for lean, sustainable manufacturing and savings that may actually raise profit margins, and will improve a manufacturer's overall emission and CAFE profile.

General Motors says it aims to take the lead in the fastest growing car market on the planet: China. Why not 'roll out' a purpose-built three-wheeler and address three issues at the same time: heavy traffic and parking space shortage, poor air quality, as well as China's one-child-per-family policy?

"Never let a good crisis go to waste"
A record 5 million barrels of oil (a quarter of America's daily consumption) spilled into the Gulf. Imagine seeing a square kilometer of barrels of oil, 28.5 inches high. Typically, one barrel holds 42 gallons. "In the same way that our view of our vulnerabilities and our foreign policy was shaped profoundly by 9/11 . . . I think this disaster is going to shape how we think about the environment and energy for many years to come" President Obama said June 14th, 2010, referring to America's largest oil spill disaster in history.

Then there's still 'the big one' to consider. Economy watchers expect the American economy to slump after the initial surge earlier this year, perhaps even the dreaded double dip. At the same time German automakers experience unexpected high sales in the U.S. It seems like Americans who still have money to spend rather buy foreign than domestic.

"Build it and they will come"
Ever since the dawn of the automobile car companies succeeded in making money. First by mass production - cutting costs in the process and making cars available to a larger public. Then by catering to individual taste and creating more comfort. Next was making cars more economical, smarter, and optimize cost cutting by sharing platforms and technology. Today automakers face the challenge of making cars cleaner, more energy-efficient and even more adaptable to personal preferences. However, the automobile comes at a price, particularly in densely populated areas or regions where public transport is underdeveloped, like Greater Los Angeles. It's getting crowded out there. There's more traffic. So, why not introduce new perspectives now there's still a chance of doing something innovative (before others do) and throw in more space efficiency in the equation for instance?

Smart ForTwo is already out there... Wouldn't a Smart For Three that's more energy-efficient, safer, more comfortable as well as more practical (3 seats) make even more sense?

Many households have more than one car. By 'differentiating' car use people will be able to actually save time, save fuel, save money, and save the environment in the process. If you are just on your own, going back and forth to work for instance, take the Space-Efficient Vehicle. Want to take the family out on a trip, then take the 'big car'. Obviously, this ‘car-on-a-diet’ will do fine as sole mode of transport for singles, couples and one-child families. If 1 out of a 500-600 prospective buyers would be interested in the SEV, then it may well create thousands of new jobs! Some of you have a motorcycle. Most of you don't. So, why not have something in between: a best of both worlds? The safety and comfort of an automobile, and the agility and fuel economy of a motor scooter. Now there's a market just waiting to be explored. And it won't be merely about launching a new vehicle. The obvious goal for this presentation is to convince people in the automotive industry and politicians of the SEV's hugh potential, and to have the SEV taken into production. Nothing less.

Ralph Panhuyzen - sevehicle@gmail.com

Let's recap.
It's new ~ it's different ~ it's about having a choice
Huge benefits to its owner/user
Reduces oil (import) dependency ~ Clears the air
New opportunities ~ New jobs
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