Solectria unveils United States' first mass producible all composite ground-up electric vehicle

Business Wire, Dec 2, 1994

ANAHEIM, Calif. --(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Dec. 2, 1994 -- Solectria Corp. of Wilmington, Mass., a leader in electric vehicle technology, today unveiled the Sunrise sedan at the 12th annual Electric Vehicle Symposium (EVS-12) in Anaheim, Calif.

The Sunrise is the first mass producible, all composite electric vehicle (EV) to be manufactured in the U.S. Solectria plans to have the Sunrise available during model year 1997 and intends to sell the Sunrise for under $20,000 based on initial orders for 20,000 vehicles or more.

"The Sunrise represents an important development in the electric vehicle industry," said James Worden, CEO and co-founder of Solectria. "Not only is it among the first ground-up EVs developed in the U.S. and the first to be sold for under $20,000, but it also incorporates technology that is ahead of most EVs on the market today."

The Sunrise is a lightweight, ground-up, all composite, 4-passenger, full-size vehicle. The Sunrise is powered by Solectria's AC induction drive system, incorporates an inductive charge port and an on-board 1.5 kW inductive charger, and has a brushless motor that utilizes energy at a higher efficiency rate than the DC motors currently used in EVs on the market. The Sunrise batteries are recharged with a state-of-the-art inductive charging system developed by Hughes Power Control Systems. The materials used for the composite body of the Sunrise will be chosen based on their recyclability whenever possible.

Solectria's development of the Sunrise is an on-going regional effort coordinated by the Northeast Alternative Vehicle Consortium (NAVC) with funding provided by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) and the Boston Edison Company. Boston Edison holds the marketing rights to the Sunrise in the nine Northeast states and all markets foreign to the United States.

According to James Hogarth, Manager of Electric Transportation Development for Boston Edison, "the Sunrise demonstrates that electric vehicles are an economically viable alternative to combustion engine vehicles. It further illustrates that EVs can be on the road at a reasonable cost to consumers. Anyone who has followed the progress of the battery operated portable telephone in the past year can appreciate the progress achieved in battery technology. The Sunrise, which incorporates the latest in battery and charging technology indeed represents the dawn of a new era for EVs."

Also on display are Solectria's two conversion vehicles, the Force sedan and the E-10 pickup. The Force has won the electric stock division of the Arizona Public Service Electric 500 in Phoenix, Ariz. for the past three years. The E-10 holds the distance record for electric vehicles, travelling 831 miles in 24 hours.

Boston Edison is an energy and energy services company that provides electrical energy to 640,000 customers in 40 eastern Massachusetts cities and towns. The company also operates five unregulated subsidiaries that provide energy-related products and services in the northeastern United States. Boston Edison's involvement with Solectria marks the company's focus on electric technologies for the future.

The Northeast Alternative Vehicle Consortium (NAVC) is a non-profit association of private and public sector firms and agencies working together to promote the advance of alternative fuel vehicle technologies in the Northeast U.S.

Solectria receives additional support for the manufacturing process design from a number of manufacturing partners including Draper Laboratory, Dow-United Technologies, Textron Automotive Technology Center, TPI Inc., and GE Plastics among others.

Based in Wilmington, Mass., Solectria Corp. has been a leading producer of electric vehicles and electric vehicle components since 1989. Co-founded by James Worden, a 1989 graduate of M.I.T., Solectria has converted vehicles for use by fleet operators and by the U.S. government. Solectria's vehicles are on the roads in 16 states in the U.S. and 5 countries abroad.


             Solectria Corp.
             Deborah Goldsmith, 508/658-2231


             Boston Edison
             Michael Monahan, 617/424-2460

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