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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.
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)