Exclusive Interview with Mr. Richard W Marks President and Founder of EcoV

EVHUB Team had a discussion with Mr. Richard W Marker, founder and president of EnVironmental Transportation Solutions, MI USA who speaks on his journey till now in building EcoV, his outlook on future of electric vehicle industry in USA.
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Jan. 31, 2013 - PRLog -- EVHUB: Hi Richard, Thank you for accepting EVHUB.IN interview, Can you share brief introduction and history about EcoV?

Richard: Environmental Transportation Solutions, LLC was formed in 2003.  At that time I had started to work for a startup company in Florida which was going to develop both a highway and neighborhood EV. I convinced the owner to start with the NEV since this was easier and would allow time to build a team.  The company collapsed within a short while and I started to work with another person in North Carolina.  I built the first generation EcoV from a golf cart that I substituted many automotive parts.  We started to show the vehicle around and got some great feedback.  Our customers did not want golf carts, even with our improvements. We decided to build a new frame and redesign EcoV to be much more car like.  We worked with a race car team who collaborated with us to develop a new EcoV.  Our customers were excited and loved the new EcoV but wanted the product more refined.  We moved to a third generation product which had doors, windows and a rear closure.

The product was still a proof of concept vehicle and we needed to move to a production prototype so that EcoV would look like the production vehicle.  We completed the 4th generation EcoV in 2010.  Our first customers are fleet managers for cities, municipalities, mail delivery, car rentals, universities, security patrols, airport and military bases.

All applications are where daily missions are shorter in distance and slower in speed.  Once we are validated and profitable we move into the private use market, mostly retirement, resort and master planned communities with some urban families.

Our customers wanted a product that was affordable, safe, versatile and would save them 70% in operating costs.  EcoV does all of that and more.

EVHUB: Can you explain how EcoV evolved and grown over the period of time since its inception?

Richard: Our background is automotive.  My team is made up of ex-auto-OEM people from all areas of automotive (200+ years of experience).  We have people with experience that covers everything from the Board Room to the dealership showroom.  As we took the different generations of EcoV to our customers, we listened very carefully to what they wanted.  They got opportunities to drive EcoV and kick the tires.  With the 2nd generation EcoV we decided to build a flexible architecture so that multiple models could be easily accommodated.  EcoV has developed that concept even further so that with over 90% common parts, we can build 6 different models.

EVHUB: What do you think about EV business prospects in America? Who are your competitors and what is EcoV’s competitiveness compared to others?

Richard: We have done extensive market research in the US market.  EcoV is considered a Low Speed Vehicle by US law (very similar to EU’s heavy quadracycles).  The standard for LSV’s is very minimal and what the standard creates is not what people want.  We call EcoV a “Superior” LSV and we really don’t have other competitors that have done what we have done.  All most all of our competitors are building enhanced golf carts or just non-LSV golf carts which are selling today in $15,000 to $20,000+ range.  Chrysler owned GEM cars, the leading seller of LSV’s for 10 years and then sold it to Polaris.  Today, LSV’s are selling at about 7,000 units per year. That is small number compared to what our market research says an EcoV like product could sell at.  EcoV is car like in appearance, roadworthy, fully enclosed, weather-worthy, handles and brakes like a normal vehicle.  We will crash test EcoV to show occupant injury criteria is met, that no one in the LSV class would or has done.  Most of our competition, except GEM, is one model offering. EcoV comes in 4 and 6 passenger where the rear seat flips down to create a utility vehicle that can carry almost 1,500 lbs.  There are two wheelbase pickups and delivery vehicles.  The USPS told us in 2008 that they were very interested in the EcoV mail delivery vehicles, but we have not had the resources to build them a prototype to test.
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