Boulder Electric Ends Production Of Commercial EV Trucks
There was some sad news as Boulder Electric Vehicle confirmed the end of electric truck production earlier this year.
This is another EV truck maker out of the business after Smith Electric Vehicles has to stop production early this year. (FDG has since signed on to rescue that truck maker with a $48 million dollar investment – but no new trucks as of yet)
Boulder Electric Vehicle didn’t find enough orders and decided to close two production facilities – in Chatsworth, California and Lafayette, Colorado, before the situation turns worse, possibly requiring bankruptcy.
“The ambitious start-up was trying to carve out a niche in the growing electric vehicle market for medium- and light-duty trucks that could replace gasoline and diesel guzzlers in corporate and municipal fleets. The company’s Web site is still up, but the phone numbers for both manufacturing facilities have been turned off.”
“About 50 people worked at the Chatsworth plant, which opened in the spring of 2012, and 40 in Lafayette, said Boulder CEO Carter Brown.”
Manufacturing equipment was been put in storage a few months ago, but the company does plan to service sold vehicles. The first ones were delivered in January 2012.
Boulder Electric Vehicle CEO Carter Brown stated:
“We have essentially mothballed the company. We are not filing bankruptcy. We are servicing our vehicles. We made a bunch of vehicles … and they are in use in many fleets in Los Angeles, Texas, New York and Chicago.”
“No one was biting off significant orders that would support full scale manufacturing.”
John O’Dell, electrical vehicle market specialist at the automotive Web site Edmunds.com commented:
“They have a tremendous amount of potential. Although you can demonstrate to a fleet manager he can save money on fuel you charge him $10,000 to $20,000 more for the electric vehicle. There is a big capital outlay at the beginning and you have to convince them to do that. It’s a hard sell.”
Boulder Electric Vehicle’s trucks were available with range of 80 and 100 miles. Payload capacity for 500 Series stands at 4,000 pounds, while 1000 Series was able to take on 6,500 pounds.
Is there any chance to pull the equipment from the storage and resume production?
“It depends on the customer base. If fuel goes through the roof to $10 bucks a gallon it would be this year. If it’s very gradual it could be five to 10 years or sometime in our lifetime,” Brown said. “It feels like the solar industry that started in the ’70s and then really didn’t get going until about 10 years ago.”