The commercial fleet market promises great opportunities for startups, but also great dangers. A number of companies are trying to electrify this segment, and several have already fallen by the wayside. The latest to run out of juice is Echo Automotive, which was profiled in our April issue.
The Arizona-based company has been forced to shut down after defaulting on debts. According to an August SEC filing, “At this time, the company does not have adequate liquidity to repay any outstanding obligations.”
Echo bought the intellectual property of an earlier failed startup, Bright Automotive, in 2013, and developed a unique approach based on a “bolt-on” plug-in-hybrid system that was designed to be installed in four to six hours. According to the company, its EchoDrive solution could save an average of $3,000 per year in fuel costs.
The company developed kits for Ford and GM pickups and vans. It announced several sales in early 2014, and was planning to start production before the end of the year.