Home > Business, green > Focus topic: tech as sales pitch for start-ups

Focus topic: tech as sales pitch for start-ups


Recently I came across two start-ups in car business. They don’t relate to each other, but there seems to be some common interesting thoughts behind. One is called ALTe, who does economical mass conversion of used fleet vehicles into plug-in hybrid electric ones. The other is called Green Planet Car Wash, who uses a recycled PVC device to cleanse the used car washing water into drinkable tap water (but the business is car washing still).

What I found unique about ALTe is mainly its business angle in two ways. First, the company is targeting at conventional car-conversion and trying to make a scalable economy out of it while most of the big automotive players are busy developing e-cars. The standard procedure is to remove the usual exhaust system, fuel tank, filler tubes, and engines, then install its own electric drive assembly as well as new exhaust, fuel supply and energy storage system. It is claimed to take only 13 man-hours with a cost of $21K per vehicle. The the company is of course expecting dealership networks. Second, it aims at the light fleet vehicles out of warranty. In other words, it aims at cutting the big maintenance cost for fleet owners. With a $21K upgrading fee, the fleet owner will get another 5 year, 50k miles warranty. There, you save both your inventory and money when you save environment at the same time.

However, without knowing what the e-vehicle powertrain configuration and recharging standard would look like in the future, ALTe’s business will be limited by numbers and range of OEMs on board with ALTe’s own developed e-platform whose crucial part ‘Green Box’ needs to communicate with OEMs’ controlling system. So with this pulling restrain, I guess the business is not totally a plain standard open assembly process any more. But it’s a good step towards a right direction.

Now to a more consumer related old business: car wash. Green Planet Car Wash is definitely not the only one trying to filter the used water. But this one’s filtration system is modeled after bacterial mixture used on the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska. That bacterial mixture lives happily on contaminants contained in used water after car wash. The result is that it reduces the water waste from 100 gallons to 5 gallons per wash and it is claimed that the cleansed water satisfied the EPA standard for tap water! Well the technology is not new, the business itself is most conventional, yet it still can be sparkled by a little twist together.

What is the common interesting thought of these two start ups? The reverse way of thinking. If you are at high end, try to get down street; if your entry level is low, there could always be a pimp up.

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