(Sept. 2003) AVS of Chattanooga, Tennessee shuts down its business. AVS developed some of the first modern electric shuttle and transit buses in North America and recently has been trying to interest fleet owners in hybrid-electric vehicle technology. Last December at the Electric Vehicle Association of America conference, the Company demonstrated a huge over-the-road hybrid-electric truck, but interest has not turned into sales. Other companies such as GM Allison have entered into this market and have had greater resources and funds than AVS. CFO Kevin Dew told a local news channel, “We are out of time and out of money . Only six employees remain with the company, which had once employed more than 100.
(Sept. 2003) Ford delays its plans for its hybrid SUV. Ford is delaying its sales to fleet until the “late summer” of 2004. Ford’s goal is to target a fuel economy of up to 40 miles per gallon for city driving for a front-wheel drive Escape.
Building a hybrid requires reengineering because of its electric motor, batteries and other components in addition to the complicated software. The question arises, “Will the hybrid save enough fuel in the lifetime of the vehicle to pay for the extra costs. Driving habits of owners could make a big difference.
Although prices have escalated on and off during the past year, hybrid sales have not been spectacular. To date, Toyota and Honda, the only two manufacturers with hybrids being offered for sale to consumers in the U.S., have only sold 27,000 vehicles through the end of August. This is about 0.2 percent of the total U.S. marke