Green Lite Motors partners with OIT, seeks capital
By Lee van der Voo, Sustainable Business Oregon
Sustainable Business Oregon
Green Lite Motors is making a big push toward commercialization of its hybrid vehicle — adding talent, raising capital and partnering with the Oregon Institute of Technology for research.
The efforts have caused President and CEO Tim Miller to fold his green-business consulting practice to focus on Green Lite.
The push is partly the result of a grant from Oregon BEST (Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies center) to the company. Green Lite received $73,000 last month, aimed at bringing its a two-seat, three-wheeled, hybrid gas-electric vehicle to market.
"I really see this grant as filling in a critical link in our commercialization. It's a perfect piece of momentum we need to accelerate this company toward commercialization," said Miller.
The company has so far been supported by angel investors and by Miller's own pocketbook. The grant is supporting a partnership with OIT to help develop the hybrid's backend, a tricky combination of hardware and software that will allow one throttle to control the car's two engines. The research helps Green Lite leap a final hurdle to a fully functional prototype and position for private investment capital to commercialize its product.
"It's a much-needed project to help us move along to a 100 mpg vehicle solution," said Miller.
Though the company aims to one day convert its vehicles fully to electric power, the prototype on its way to commercialization relies on gas and electric motors that work in tandem. Miller said the hybrid concept circumvents obstacles still in the way of electric vehicle technology: the lack of infrastructure to support them, the high cost of batteries and a diminished range in an era that predates solutions.
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