Wednesday, November 24, 2010
DOE Grants Money for Natural Gas Van
nditional loan commitment with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) under its Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan Program. VPG will use the DOE funds to enter into full production of the CNG version of the MV-1, which the company expects to begin late in the first quarter of 2011.
he MV-1 is the first and only purpose-built vehicle designed from the ground up to meet the needs of people in wheelchairs as well as for the demanding duty cycles of fleet operators. It is the only factory built light-duty vehicle to date that meets or exceeds the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The vehicle features a deployable access ramp with a 1,200-pound weight capacity, a 36-inch entryway and an interior that accommodates up to six occupants with the optional jump seat, including either one or two wheelchair passengers and the driver.
“With this conditional commitment, the Department of Energy has demonstrated its confidence in our program and the impact that it will have in transforming a significant portion of U.S. light duty fleets to clean-burning, natural gas vehicles,” said David Schembri, CEO of VPG. “The MV-1 will help to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil and substantially reduce light-duty fleet emissions and costs, while at the same time dramatically increasing the quality of life for millions of Americans with physical disabilities.”
The MV-1 will be available with a factory-installed Ford 4.6L V8 engine, configured either for gasoline or compressed natural gas fuel. VPG estimates that the company will manufacture at least 24,000 vehicles per year and over 900 workers will be involved in the project. Over 70% of the vehicle’s content is domestic, making it compliant with the Buy American Act. The vehicle will be built in Mishawaka, IN, under a contract with AM General, the manufacturer of the HUMVEE for the U.S. armed forces. VPG is headquartered in Miami, FL with offices in Troy, MI.
VPG is a portfolio company of Perseus, L.L.C., a private equity fund management company with offices in Washington, D.C. and New York.
About the ATVM Loan Program
The Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office oversees the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan Program. The ATVM Loan Program supports the development of innovative, advanced technologies that create thousands of clean energy jobs while reducing the nation’s dependence on oil. The Department has provided over $8 billion in loans to advanced technology vehicle manufacturers, including Ford Motor Company, Fisker Automotive, Nissan North America and Tesla Motors.
About The Vehicle Production Group LLC
Headquartered in South Fla., The Vehicle Production Group LLC (VPG) designs, manufactures, markets and distributes the first mobility vehicle engineered from the ground up for wheelchair accessibility. The vehicle, aptly named the "MV-1" (the first Mobility Vehicle), is the only vehicle that meets or exceeds the stringent vehicle guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). For more information, visit www.vpgautos.com.
About Perseus, L.L.C.
Perseus, L.L.C. is a merchant bank and private equity fund management company headquartered in Washington, D.C., with an office in New York City. Since its inception in 1995, Perseus has made investments in more than 60 portfolio companies in a wide variety of industries in which Perseus and its principals have expertise, including energy, environmental, and engineering technologies; healthcare, and branded consumer products. For more information on Perseus, L.L.C. visit http://www.perseusllc.com.
Posted by Larry at 12:38 AM