The race to get green cars to market continues to heat up. Today brought details of the Scorpion, an “eco-exotic” sports car with an on-board hydrogen generator made by Ronn Motor Co. The Austin, Texas-based company says it hopes to have the first production Scorpion, which will cost $150,000, on the road by October, and to build 190 more over the next year. And Ronn Motor is getting ready to develop its second-generation vehicle, likely a four-door sedan, in the next six months, VP Adrian Pylypec tells Earth2Tech.
Ronn appears to be taking a page out of the books of Tesla and Fisker: Launching a high-end, high-concept sexy sportscar and then, after grabbing lots of media attention and working out the kinks, incorporating the technology into a more consumer-friendly sedan. “I’m honored to be mentioned in the same sentence as Telsa and Fisker,” Pylypec says.
The Scorpion burns a mix of gasoline and hydrogen in its combustion engine. Regular tap water is split into hydrogen with electricity from two batteries that are charged by an oversized alternator. The hydrogen is produced by a G3 unit from Hydrorunner which makes on-demand hydrogen systems available for retrofits. A computer will manage the flow and ratio of hydrogen, keeping the fuel at around 30-40 percent hydrogen, Ronn says.
Funding-wise, the company has taken in an undisclosed of private investment. Shares of Ronn started trading on the OTC Bulletin Board last week; the company hopes to get an IPO underwritten a year from now.
Founder and CEO Ronn Maxwell previously designed an A/C system for Porsche’s 911, worked with large Chinese bus manufacturer Zhonda as well as Amos Minter, the famous bodywork designer of the imitable 1955-57 Thunderbirds.
Currently the company only has just eight employees, but does have several operable pre-production prototypes. But as production moves ahead, Pylypec says they’ll have 20 employees in a month and 40-45 come October. Currently the company is in the “shakeout stage,” Pylypec says, as the last few tweaks are made to the prototypes before heading into production. From our experience with Tesla, we know the shakeout stage can take longer than expected. We’ll see if Ronn’s new Scorpion gets stung.