Green Automotive's Incredible Balancing Act
By EV World Editorial Team
Exclusive interview with Green Automotive's Chief Financial Officer, Darren West about the company's multi-subsidiary balancing act from keeping Modec and Transit Connect e-vans running to opening electric vehicle franchises across America.
Darren West is the CFO of Green Automotive Co Corp, an Over-the-Counter (OTC: GACR) stock that's currently trading at 24¢ a share. Tesla it is not. At least, not yet.
But that isn't preventing the company from thinking big, like someday operating a chain of Going Green retail electric vehicles franchises across Europe and North America, as well as providing EV fleet maintenance services and building electric buses.
None of these enterprises are pipe dreams. The company has been living and learning them all in Britain over the last decade, operating the Going Green store in London where you can buy new and used EVs from bikes to cars to 4-ton lorries. When Modec, the builder of the electric delivery vans pictured in the masthead, failed, it was the company's LIberty Electric Cars that negotiated with Navistar, the U.S.-based company that took over Modec's assets under the e-Star brand. Liberty would provide maintenance support for the likes of UPS, Fedex and others to keep the Modec trucks on the road.
Along the way, they also happen to build a pair of all-electric Ranger Rovers, with government money that had a driving range of more than 200 miles, powered by what was then the largest automotive battery pack in the world until the Tesla Model S. (Note: JaguarLandRover has developed their own electric version of the Range Rover. The two programmes are not allied).
All of these efforts remained strictly UK-focused, though efforts to attract more investment capital extended across the channel, West tells EV World in this Skype audio interview. With money difficult to raise in Europe due to the prolonged recession and fiscal austerity policy, management looked to America and an offer to merge turned into a marriage of convenience with GACR:US - Green Automotive Co Corp. Now all three arms: Going Green, Liberty Electric Cars, and GACR operate under the same management umbrella. The latest initiative is the launch of the Liberty e-care program to repair and maintain Ford Transit Connect electric vans, another orphaned electric truck program when Azure Dynamics folded in 2012.
The company also has launched yet another subsidiary, Newport Coachworks, Inc., to build shuttle buses for Don Brown Bus Sales. While these buses will be diesel and CNG fueled, the company plans to use its heavy electric vehicle engineering expertise - it hired former Modec engineers in the UK who are designing a new delivery van - to eventually offer EV versions for use as airport shuttles.
That's a lot of spinning plates to balance, but so far, they seem to be managing it.
You can listen to complete Skype conversation using the MP3 player below.
Originally published: 22 Oct 2013
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