Carbon Motors: A Rundown of Its History, Concepts and Legacy

Carbon Motors: A Rundown of Its History, Concepts and Legacy

Despite being one of the short-lived auto brands, Carbon Motors left its mark in the auto industry in its 10-year existence in the market. The auto brand has left quite an impression a unique brand because of its design philosophies and target market.

The Foundation

The American automotive brand was founded by Former executive for Ford Motors, William Santana Li, and former police officer Stacy Dean Stephens. Established in 2003, the company established its first headquarters in Los Angeles California. Three years after the establishment, Carbon Motors relocated to Atlanta, Georgia and continued manufacturing its concept cars in the market. In the following three years, Carbon Motors decided to settle in Connersville, Indiana for its production with the plan of converting a plant for their own use.

Vehicle for Community Protection

While the trend for manufacturing cars focused on common motorists, Carbon Motors decided to take a different turn in producing their vehicle line by producing cars meant for law enforcement. Considering Stephens’ background as an official and Santana Li’s background in the auto industry, the founders became a great combination that are expected to bring cars that meet the needs of law enforcement.

For many years, the police force has been utilizing different car brands for its police vehicles. The unusual thing is that they tended to simply use the same cars given to civilians and other than putting on decals and lights as well as remove the hubcaps for some reason it was not a purpose built vehicle.  Their features are customizable in terms of finishing and installing add-ons needed by policemen. Nevertheless, none of these cars was actually made or custom tailored exclusively for law enforcement operations until the young car brand entered the feature.

Carbon Motors E7: Meant for Law Enforcement

Carbon Motors developed the E7 concept, the vehicle built with features meant for law enforcement agencies. Due to their features, Carbon Motors made this vehicle exclusively available for these agencies.

The concept was developed earlier and wasn’t released to the public until 2008. The company held a tour named “Pure Justice” to reveal the known prototype to the world.

The goal of producing these vehicles was to make a car meant for authorities and the way they use their vehicles. Concept notes from Carbon Motors stated that its interoperability features give way to enhanced communication between law enforcers in the field and their main centers. As a purpose-built law vehicle, E7 will serve as a security platform that ensures officer safety and others that make responding to emergencies faster than driving a regular vehicle.

The auto company designed the vehicle with superb features that extend from the chassis up to the interiors. Technological advancements used to improve communication, speed, security, and dynamics. E7’s exterior appearance alone shows off a bumper-to-bumper rugged chassis. With main car’s body covered in black finish, its unique gray bumper trims gave it a one-of-a-kind appearance than conventional vehicles. Law enforcement authorities ordering this vehicle can customize it with decals that indicate the agencies using the vehicles.

The vehicle’s exterior appearance alone is unique, but Carbon Motors designed its interiors with features that police officials need. The cockpit area is fitted with numerous technologies used for law enforcement like radios and controllers for sirens, lights and other equipment. The reverse backup camera aids in maneuvering the vehicle while making it an additional surveillance system while on the authorities are out of their vehicles. Its special video and audio surveillance system is also installed behind the passenger compartment, which makes monitoring easier.

Aside from technological add-ons, E7 also has integrated shotgun mounts, passenger compartment partition, and interior illuminator that works with night vision. These features alone are enough indicators that the brand thought out of the vehicle well and making them suitable for law enforcers to help them carry out their jobs accordingly.

Prototype TX7

After promoting E7, Carbon Motors started to conceptualize a new vehicle brand made even bigger than the first cruiser it launched in the market. Known as TX7, this vehicle resembles an armored truck, but with Carbon Motor’s touch.

TX7 is designed for bringing a small group of police officers that won’t fit in E7. Showcasing the vehicle in white color, reports had it that the car is powered with a v8 diesel engine and meant for storing features that the SWAT would need for their operations. Just like its predecessor, TX7 photos that revolved online showed the vehicle in white finished, the signature red and blue lights, and police sign decals.

The beginning of the end

The company’s demise was probably caused by absence of funding after the Department of Energy, the U.S. government entity, denied the company of its requested loan. The approximately $300 million loan was filed in 2012, but ultimately denied despite the company being able to work with the said authority for two years. After much exchange of views on the reasons behind loan denial, Carbon Motors decided to vacate their plant in 2013, taking all their investments like websites and social media account. The company ultimately announced bankruptcy after a month.

Carbon Motors Despite the Challenges

Even in its short-term market activity, the company undoubtedly made its mark in the industry. One of its major contracts is working with BMW in 2010 after signing a contract for six-cylinder diesel engines. Additionally, its E7 appeared in the video game Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit as a playable vehicle if the player chose to play police officer as the character. Car Town also had E7 as a purchasable car for playing.

These contracts meant that the company has been recognized and a lot of individuals actually looked forward for its prototypes to appear in the market. The company could have been one of the most committed brand to its products because of its proposed policy once their vehicles are purposed. If the buyer decides to dispose the vehicle, he should sell it to another law-enforcing agency or return to the plant where Carbon Motors’ technicians will disassemble the parts. This is to protect their integrated technologies and ensure that only authorities have access to its layout.

Carbon Motors indeed made the auto market more interesting because of its design concepts. Police officers would have been enjoying their own special vehicles that will enable them to do their jobs while keeping themselves protected.

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