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    Date submitted
  • 06-Nov-2017

Solar Electric Vehicle

Abstract

Envision a vehicle which gets its energy from the sun, gets you to work, shopping, and play at up to 50 mph, and emits no pollutants or CO2. Ecotrike is such a vehicle. It is street-legal and being tested and used by the developer.

We hope to commercialize this vehicle by overcoming manufacturing hurdles, opening the digital designs (already is in SolidWorks) to a global audience by licensing local manufacturers, selling and supporting the assembly and maintenance of "kit" vehicles, as well as making the electrical system available to those who would prefer to design and build their own custom frame. Also, there is a very intriguing STEM education opportunity for this vehicle to serve as a teaching aid as global markets transition to electric vehicles.

Video

Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

The main target customer is actually a young urban resident, possibly a college student or recent graduate with a limited budget, an awareness of environmental concerns for automobile emissions, a willingness to do something new to show their commitment to the environment through actions that actually save a good deal of money. Also, they are usually short distance commuters and only travel short distances. This is preferable to the restrictions imposed by bus systems.

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

For many, there is a pressing need to be frugal in this transitional economy; there is also a keen awareness of worsening air quality, particularly in Northern Utah. This vehicle can save a person an estimated $0.50 per mile (Estimated $0.10/ mile to own versus AAA estimates of $0.60 or more to own a conventional automobile). Being an electric vehicle equipped with its own solar panel, this vehicle has no emissions, and does not require gasoline. It is very affordable to own, and it is very reliable for commuter driving, and urban mobility.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

The vehicle has been licensed I Utah for the past 7 years, and each year a new prototype shows improved design, and performance. It is enclosed to that it is comfortable in 3 seasons and can also be driven in some winter weather. The Inventor has been diligent about record keeping and is close to a National Manufacturing License through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). But most importantly, this vehicle can be manufactured and shipped as a kit, and easily assembled by the end - user. More exciting still is the fact that all of the parts have been assembled in SolidWorks, so the technology can easily be transferred online and manufactured simply by those with the proper facilities, signaling a vast opportunity for impact.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

I personally have been working with the Inventor for the past three years and I am highly familiar with the many dimensions of this vehicle, its impacts for a family budget, the mobility provided by such a purchase, as well as the nuance involved in assembling the vehicle. I have owned two of the vehicles and driven 100's of miles in both. The planning involved in commercializing this vehicle has been a team case study in four Entrepreneurship classes this semester, and many finance documents have been created and considered, as well as marketing questions. This product is the first of its kind to market, incorporated and licensed 7 years running and the only one of its kind being considered for national licensing through the NHTSA.