By Mark Kleis
Thursday, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 12:01 am
 
Carbon Motors is a name that hasn't gotten much press coverage for quite a while, likely because the entire company's existence was largely put on-hold as it waited for approval for a loan from the Department of Energy.

The silence has now been broken, however not on the terms Carbon Motors would have liked: the loan has been denied. If you ask Caron Motors why? They will bluntly tell you they believe they are the victims of election year politics.

"We are outraged by the actions of the DoE and it is clear that this was a political decision in a highly-charged, election year environment. Since Solyndra became politicized last fall, the DoE has failed to make any other loans under the ATVM program, has pulled back one loan that it previously committed and, as of this month, the DoE has pushed aside the three remaining viable loans under active consideration," said William Santana Li, chairman and chief executive officer, Carbon Motors.

For those of you who may not recall, or are not familiar with Carbon Motors, it is a start-up company that aimed to build the first truly purpose-built law enforcement sedan for use in the U.S. known as the E7. The vehicle was developed with current and retired law enforcement input, was intended to use a diesel engine supplied by BMW, an eight-speed transmission and an aluminum space frame.

But despite the grim outlook offered by a government loan-free Carbon Motors future, Li vowed to continue the fight, even putting a pop-up blurb on their homepage that reads the following, "Our country was not built by those who stood on the sidelines, or by those who hid behind political convenience, or by those too scared to lead. Our country was built by relentless entrepreneurs that despite the odds, despite the severity of the challenge, despite the roadblocks and despite the naysayers, rose to the occasion, led where there was no leader, and through innovation turned the impossible into the possible - no matter how long it took," and then concluded, "Carbon Motors will continue to fight. We choose this path not because it is easy, but because it is hard, because it is just, because it is honorable and because we are Americans."

If it isn't already clear, Carbon Motors isn't exactly afraid to tell it how it (believes) is. The automaker's press release about the DoE decision went on to make the case that General Motors, Chrysler, Next auto, Aptera, Bright Automotive and of course Carbon Motors all "suffered through the horrendous DOE process that ended in nothing but a vote against the American worker."

The company's CEO, Li, even went on to make the case that the DoE's decision will ultimately cost taxpayers over $10 billion in the long-term due to lost savings that would have been realized from the use of the Carbon Motors E7, rather than other offerings on the market.

To date, Carbon Motors has raised over $200 million in private commitments, but the $310 million loan from the DoE was still very much required in order to allow for the start of production. Unless the DoE has a change of heart, no matter how much fight Carbon Motors has in its soul it may not be enough to let the E7 see the line of duty.