Carbon Motors' prototype cop car is crammed with technology

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Carbon Motors Corp., the Atlanta startup carmaker that in July chose the east-central Indiana city of Connersville for its permanent headquarters and assembly plant, is still at least two years from producing its first car—a vehicle designed strictly for law enforcement. (See below for a video tour of the car's prototype.)

Key to the project is a $310 million federal loan the company hopes will be approved soon, possibly this summer. Carbon Motors has 13,000 advance orders. Chairman and CEO Bill Santana Li anticipates sourcing 70 percent of the car domestically, mostly from Indiana. Most patrol cars will roll off the assembly line priced from the mid-$40,000 to the low-$60,000 range, similar to conventional police cars. Cars loaded with all options will be significantly more expensive.

The cars will feature technology ranging from thermoplastics to automated license plate readers. About the only thing missing is a doughnut dispenser.

Click here for an annotated view of the car’s features.•


  • Point out
    Crown Vic sucks this car is the most comfortable car for police sheriff and even protection company's and if you would sit in one dressed out duty belt and all you would see I set in one for about five mins and had forgot about the duty belt being on it takes the weight off and yes I'd you go to the web site you'll see 13,001 cars pre ordered they look funny but I love the things but 60,000 is a little much
  • Really!
    Was it really necessary to perpetuate a doughnut stereotype into an IBJ article? I thought this outlet had more class than that. The merits of this loan and effectiveness of this car are a serious issue to investigate and debate. Also the Crown Victoria P/Iâ??s are going away as a fleet car. Ford has 2 new P/I's coming out. One is a car the other is a small SUV. Neither has the innovations built into it like the Carbon car does, however it is very untested. If I understand them correctly the carbon car will not be available for public resale and will have to be returned or resold to Carbon for credit toward a new car. That would alleviate the look-a-like police car being driven by security companies and police impersonators.
  • Great, just what we need...
    Its amazing there is always ways found to make sure our government can make money off us citizens.
    More souped up police cars to make it easier to hand out tickets for the same laws the officers handing them out break themselves.
    YAY just what our country needs...
  • thats funny popeye
    point one - will anyone be responsible to pay this loan back?
    Point two - why is it bad if another version of crown vic carries passengers? why does that make it a bad police car?
    Point 3 - does the fact that Carbon is in Indiana make them worthy of my tax money? Isnt every company located somewhere? Bernie Madoff is in Leavenworth, do we give kansas tax money for that?

    PLEASE - keep government out of private enterprise.
  • Carbon Motors
    Point #1 - $310 million federal LOAN, not a grant
    Point #2 - Carbon Motors: vehicle designed strictly for law enforcement; Crown Vic: passenger car adapted for law enforcement use
    Point #3 - Carbon Motors: headquartered and manufactured in Connersville; Crown Vic: Ford is headquartered in Michigan and car is manufactured in Talbotville, Ontario

    Carbon Motors - Welcome to Indiana
    • help? or governement funding
      i want jobs created by private enterprise, putting their own capital at risk. Other company's may have gotten help. But this is complete funding by government. That is not the role of government. Who will pay the taxpayers back if this fails? Government needs to get out of the way. We dont need more socialism
    • Let it go
      First off many private entities have started off with government funds or grants. Do your research and you will see that the big three all had help at one time. The tax dollars put into the local economy far outweighs what the Fed is providing. Where were you when Honda got state incentives? It sounds like you want jobs created by the famous "Cut Taxes to stimulate the economy" slogan that has not been effective for 18 years.

      Secondly, Carbon motors is stating the price range is from $40k to $60k well within Fords stated range. Ford and GM have not focused on the law enforcement niche for many years putting out sub par products.
    • why should government fund this
      Norm Heikens continues to shamelessly shill for this company. But why should my tax dollars fund this private company to compete with a free enterprise, non government funded company.? If this is such a good idea, where are the venture capitalists? This is a sinkhole for my tax dollars. It is pitiful that "conservatives" in Indiana are in favor, solely because it is in their district.

      Keep government out of startup businesses!

      Let me repeat; if this is such a good idea, where are the venture capitalists?
    • Your Wrong
      This car by the way costs just as much as the crown vic with everything added onto it! The thing about this car is that mileage is 10 times better, car is designed for police use, crown vic is not its a sedan designed for families in mind! This car will save lives and that is why there is 13,000 on hold!
    • But who can afford it?
      I don't believe for a minute that Carbon Motors has 13,000 advance orders. This is a car that is too expensive, cannot be serviced except by Carbon, and has no operational credibility. The Crown Vic will continue to be the choice for most law enforcement agencies simply because it fulfills 90% of perceived needs; it is relatively inexpensive, less than half what a Carbon will probably cost (and final price for the Carbon car has never been officially announced though it is expected to be in the $60K range). I see smoke and mirrors....

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    1. what Steve is doing and if he is on another radio station. That is the station I will listen to.

    2. From the story: "The city of Indianapolis also will consider tax incentives and funding for infrastructure required for the project, according to IEDC." Why would the City need to consider additional tax incentives when Lowe's has already bought the land and reached an agreement with IEDC to bring the jobs? What that tells me is that the City has already pledged the incentives, unofficially, and they just haven't had time to push it through the MDC yet. Either way, subsidizing $10/hour jobs is going to do nothing toward furthering the Mayor's stated goal of attracting middle and upper-middle class residents to Marion County.

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