Electric vehicle 'may bring jobs' to West Midlands
A new three-wheeled electric powered vehicle (EPV) will create new jobs in the West Midlands, say the makers.
Brothers Paul and David Loomes say the road legal "Raptor" has zero emissions and can travel up to 25mph (40km/h).
The brothers, who have created the firm Ecospin Ltd in Leicester, envisage the vehicle being used for security patrolling and by police and airports.
The firm expects to assemble the EPV in the West Midlands and get up to 80% of parts in the region.
Talk about electric three wheelers and your mind is probably drawn to the Sinclair C5.
Back in the 1980s it was a revolutionary mode of transport which was well ahead of its time. But in those early days there were many limitations and it didn't really catch on.
Now the technology is far more developed and electric vehicles are becoming a viable alternative. The Raptor builds on that by providing a vehicle for a specific use, in this case the security industry.
Ecospin Ltd wants to assemble it in the West Midlands and says it's likely to source many parts here too. Like many other technology firms, it takes the view that manufacturing in this region provides a quality product often superior to those made in other parts of the world, where labour may be cheaper.
Suppliers include Birmingham-based FW Cables, which has developed specialist wiring looms for it.
David Loomes said: "A standard model will be about £6,000 and we'll be pitching it to police, security companies, postal service, theme parks, event management firms and airports."
The brothers say they have tapped into support from the Midlands Assembly Network, a collaboration of 10 manufacturing firms.
They put £1.2m of their own funds into developing the Raptor and more than two years into developing it.
Ecospin said there had been interest from the Metropolitan Police as well as firms in Dubai and Singapore.
The firm is initially making 60 vehicles.