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Chinese Cash Props Up Fledgling U.S. EV Company

Protean offers radically alternative electric drive technology.

by on Jul.13, 2012

Protean wants to revolutionize electric propulsion with its unique hub-mounted, or in-wheel, electric motors.

Investors from China and Silicon Valley combined Wednesday to raise $84-million for a Detroit-based startup, Protean Electric Inc., which has developed technology to propel cars and trucks using motors mounted directly inside a vehicle’s wheels.

Protean, which bills itself as a clean technology firm, is considered a leader in so-called hub motor electric drive systems and the new capital will be used to bring the company’s technology to production by establishing manufacturing facilities in Liyang, China, executive said.

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“With this round of investment in place, Protean Electric is now positioned to move aggressively to production and into the market,” said Bob Purcell, chairman and chief executive officer of Protean Holdings Corp.

The timing could prove particularly significant as the China State Council has just announced plans to promote a rapid expansion in electric and other alternative propulsion systems between now and 2020.  Protean hopes its alternative approach to using battery power will give it a leg up on more traditional electric motor suppliers.


BYD Will Sell You LED Bulbs With Your e6 Battery Car

Chinese maker's dealerships will be an all-in-one outlet for the green-minded motorist.

by on Jan.11, 2011

Will the long-delayed BYD e6 finally reach the American market in 2012?

After a series of delays, Chinese automaker BYD is finally getting ready for its formal U.S. retail launch, company officials declared during a news conference at the Detroit Auto Show.

And the truly green-minded motorist will find more than just the e6 battery car and F3DM hybrid once the first in a planned network of regional showrooms open up in early 2012, they proclaimed.  BYD – which stands for “Build Your Dreams” –  wants those outlets to be something of an environmentally-friendly superstore, offering not only battery cars but the solar generation system that can provide power and even LED light bulbs to cut the energy needs of a motorists’ home.

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“Our vision is not just cars,” explained Chuan-fu Wang, BYD’s founder and chairman, speaking through an interpreter.  The goal is to provide, “a truly zero-emission solution, not just for transferring emissions” from the tailpipe to the smokestack.