Pinoy-Designed E-sports car gets D.O.E. support

November 4, 2011 at 10:16

THE Department of Energy (DOE) will support the Filipino-designed Gitano (GT111) electric sports car to promote vehicles using alternative fuel.

The Gitano electric sports car is hoped to make waves in the European motoring scene.

In a letter to Jan Kierulf, Michel Motorsport president and Gitano designer, Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras said: “It is a source of pride that our country is helping to lead the electric-vehicle movement. As we informed you during our meetings, it is part of the DOE’s policy to support the development of the local electric-vehicle manufacturing industry. As such, we fully support your plan to cause the manufacture of high-quality electric vehicles.”

The GT111 is now in Las Vegas for the Special Equipment Market Association Show from November 1 to 4. The trade show will feature more than 1,500 customized and accessorized four-wheel and two-wheel vehicles from all over the world.

Kierulf said having a Filipino-designed electric sports car showcased at the Las Vegas show is a huge opportunity for the Philippines to show the country’s design talent, creativity and craftsmanship.

With the right support in place, Kierulf said the Philippines has the potential to become the “Milan of Asia” in the area of vehicle design.

He said the country’s competency in the design arena had been largely untapped in the vehicle sector. “There is an urgency for local companies, such as Michel Motorsport, to step up to the plate and show the world what Filipinos are capable of in terms of conceptualization and design,” he said.

At Michel Motorsport, Kierulf said they do everything from auto business incubation, engineering design, product development, prototype fabrication, and specialty low-volume production services for the mass transport, auto and architecture sectors.

Kierulf said the company’s competencies are in styling, engineering and conceptual design, which are done by Filipinos.

The GT111 is a joint effort among Michel Motorsport for the concept, design, pre-engineering activities and business planning, a British company for the chassis, suspension and vehicle standards, and US-based EV Drive Oregon for the electric power train development.

Initially developed as a “halo project” or an initiative to create awareness and attract investor attention, the GT111 concept car is planned to be produced in commercial quantities and sold in the European market.

By: Paul Anthony A. Isla
Source: Business Mirror, November 2, 2011
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