It's Baaack: Phoenix Motorcars Rises From the Ashes

Phoenix Motorcars is rising from the ashes of bankruptcy to show a “newly configured” electric sport utility truck (think of it as an SUV with a short bed) at a fleet vehicle conference in Phoenix, Arizona this month. While Phoenix filed for bankruptcy in April 2009, the car maker now says it hopes to start making deliveries to commercial and government fleet customers toward the end of this year.

Phoenix says vehicles slated for delivery this year will have a 70 mile range, while next year’s models will have an “extended 100 mile range pack option.” Phoenix says some of these first vehicles will go to demonstration projects in California and a previously announced (and long delayed) project in Hawaii. On its website, Phoenix claims it will release a consumer model in 2010.

The company, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Dubai-based Al Yousuf LLC, has traveled a bumpy road so far. Founded in 2001 and backed by Al Yousuf in 2007, the Ontario, Calif. startup filed for Chapter 11 last year. In March 2009 Phoenix investor and onetime battery supplier Altair Nanotechnologies noted in a release about its 2008 financial results that the Phoenix common stock on its books, valued at $106,000 as of December 31, 2007, had been written down to $18,000 “due to an impairment that management believes is other than temporary.”

Back in 2008, Phoenix said it would roll out electric vehicles on the island of Maui in a test fleet with utility Maui Electric by 2009, but then fell silent about the project (and everything else) as it hit the financial skids. Today’s release about the event in Phoenix and plans for 2010 deliveries marks the first announcement we’ve seen from the company since December 2008.

Image courtesy of Phoenix Motorcars

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