More “RoboCop” than “Beverly Hills Cop,” the Carbon E7 is a 300-horsepower bio-diesel-fueled bad-guy chaser equipped with sensors for weapons of mass destruction and automatic license-plate scanners. “It’s really a homeland security machine, not a cop car,” says William Li, CEO of Carbon Motors in Atlanta.

Faster and “greener” than the standby Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, Carbon Motors’ car is a bold entry for a start-up company challenging an increasingly fragmented auto market.

Carbon Motors – a collaboration among a small team of investors, engineers, and Georgia Tech – needs to sell about 20,000 cars to the 240,000-vehicle US law-enforcement fleet to warrant its proposed 2012 production run. Its light plastic panels, a German-engineered drivetrain that nearly doubles the mileage compared with the market-dominant Crown Vic, and a green cachet with a biodiesel engine make it a stark contrast to the “rolling offices” that police use today.

In a wily move to gather engineering ideas and create viral marketing buzz, the company created a “Carbon Council” of nearly 2,000 beat officers across the United States who contributed 88 original ideas to the car – including a “hoseable” rear seat, an extra-wide driver’s seat set into a helicopter cockpit-style front compartment, and side emergency lights to increase visibility and safety. Computer-aided design technology and outsourcing of the drivetrain have kept development costs low.

Best quote from William Li – “Seven years after 9/11, we’ve got our first responders in retail passenger cars that were designed 30 years ago for Sunday drives.”




  1. gquaglia says:

    Great idea. Police cars today were not designed to be police cars. They are basically old man sedans with added horse power and beefed up brakes and cooling system. They are cramped and not friendly to the myriad of equipment that goes into the modern cruiser. A police car designed from the ground up would be a welcomed sight. Can’t see it happening though as I’m sure they will be way over priced and few municipalities and cities will be willing to pony up for them unless there is some kind of grant offered.

  2. Future Chaos says:

    A guy walks into a bar with jumper cables. The bartender says, “You can come in, but don’t start anything! I bet the battery still goes dead and at the worst possible moment.

  3. Thinker says:

    Yeah it looks good. I just hope its not putting us down the path to ‘total law enforcement’.

  4. SparkyOne says:

    Does it detect torrent files being transfered via wifi?

  5. GetSmart says:

    Boondoggle. Give ’em a mini-van of some sort. That, and put ’em on mass transit, where the people actually ARE in cities. More people would feel better about using mass transit if cops were on board routinely. You can’t outrun Motorola.

  6. EvilPoliticians says:

    Heres a link to the manufacturer website. Much more info there than the light CSM article.

    http://www.carbonmotors.com/

    #5 – GetSmart
    Minivans would not be efficient. Actually more space than needed and less mileage.

    And not sure how you balance cops in the city. Cops cost money and with today’s tax receipt declines, I suspect we’ll see even more cameras and fewer police.

  7. Thomas says:

    #5
    Clearly you have never been in LA. High speed chases, millions of cars, regular drug busts and a large police force. Mini-van won’t cut it for a daily cruiser.

    The police have never really had the equivalent of a GP (Jeep) project. That is what this sounds like.

  8. Ben says:

    Where would the cop’s partner sit? It looks like he wouldn’t be able to ride shotgun with a helicopter style pilot’s chair in the center for the driver. We can say goodbye to the buddy-cop movies.

  9. Future Chaos says:

    Hollywood is going bust. Watch old Dirty Harry movies I guess. It’s like DeLorean said about Detroit years back. The tragedy is that the entire industry is in one city. One industry cities don’t work. NYC-Wall St., Pittsburgh-Steel, Detroit-Automotive, Houston-Enron/energy, Miami-Coke, Hollywood-Movies…The whole Middle East is banking on oil going sky high and it’s a one camel region with oil prices collapsing. Gas is down to $2.20 a gallon here, so I can’t complain. It could get under $2.00. What an idea, a gallon a gas costs less than a cup of Starbucks, if there is a Starbucks next week. Coffee could be down to 75 cents again with a newspaper going for a quarter. A buck will get you both, now that Wall Street has been immobilized. The old days, the all or nothing days, they’re back.

  10. James Hill says:

    Privatized police forces are already here. Where’s RoboCop when you need him?

  11. soundwash says:

    “#Designed to 250,000 mile durability specification”

    -they could have done this decades ago. -but then the parts industry would be no where near as profitable.. (well made diesel engines have an extremely long, -reliable life.)

    -same goes for all-electric cars. they would
    decimate the parts industries.

    -looks like carbon motors watched the Mad Max series
    of movies one too many times..

    wonder if it has a focused EMP pulse generator…

    #4 Said:
    “Does it detect torrent files being transferred via wifi?”

    -roflmao!


    #9 -don’t get too happy, the dollar will be devalued
    to 50% then near zero with hyperinflation just around the corner from the mad printing of bailout greenbacks.. so while fuel costs drop, so does the dollars ability to buy it…gas will go back up
    becuase the dollar devaluation…until ofc, they force the amero on us.. *shrug*

    -s

  12. JimD says:

    I’m sure Palin would be ready to plunk down Alaska Money or Earmark Money for a couple of “Gotchas” – you betcha !!!

  13. green says:

    License plate scanning has been going on for a long while. They look for expired plates and outstanding warrants.

  14. Special Ed says:

    Sniffs out donut shops too!

  15. soundwash says:

    #13 The sales of a polarizing license plate spray
    (and clear plastic polarized covers) are becoming quite popular here in nyc lately. doesnt work for a behind the car scan, but at the down angle that most plate scanners on light poles are at, it works most of the time..

    i’ve seen the clear frame and know it works, cant vouch for the spray though.

    #14 -rofl

    -s

  16. Glenn E. says:

    Carbon Motors, another start-up? Carbon as in its “footprint” or fiber panels? Probably because it comes alphabetically before Chrysler Motors. Anyway, I’m impressed with the claim of superior mileage. If true, it seems that just about anyone can design a more efficient engine that Detroit’s big three. What’s that say about the dinosaur motor dynasties that the US government protects from failure? Let’s face it, they don’t have to make a better automobile. Instead they focused on making them as popular as the foreign makes. And more costly to maintain and repair, than from decades ago.


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