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BEE One at Millbrook Low Carbon Vehicles Show 9/10 September

Tue, 01 Sep 2009

Stephen Voller famously appeared on BBC Dragon's Den on 26-8-2009 asking for £2.5m investment that would then be boosted by £7.5m to develop an electric car and van ready for production.

The Dragons all declined to invest in the project, mainly because of the competition to BEE from well established car manufacturers and the potential to lose everything they invested in it. They may possibly rue their decision in years to come.

Though "new and unique" technology like a sound warning system and GPS phone fell flat in the presentation as 'gimmicks', the basics of the car make some sense. The Bee One car is positioned as a second car for a family and would compare in size and price to an Opel/Vauxhall Corsa or Ford Fiesta. And where a car is used for relatively short local runs, an electric car actually makes more sense than a car powered by an internal combustion engine because this is the cycle of use where an IC car is its least efficient, its most environmentally unfriendly and, because of condensation damage is most likely to start having problems. Unfortunately, that point was not made to the Dragons.

BEE Automobiles will be at the Low Carbon Vehicle event at Millbrook 9/10 September, 2009

Bee plans to manufacture its electric vehicles and battery packs for introduction in 2011. As well as a 4/6 seat, five-door family car (A/B segment), there would also be a lightweight commercial van (LCV) using the same chassis.

At launch, the Bee One will have a range of 100 miles (160km) on a single charge, with a top speed of 80 mph (128 kph). Charging will take up to seven hours for a full charge from a standard domestic plug socket (230volt, 13amp). This is best performed overnight, but the batteries can be fast-charged in minutes if high-power output sockets are available.

The Bee lithium-ion battery technology is world-leading, offering the lowest cost, highest-energy density, safest and best recyclability in its class. The lithium-ion cells are built into standard sized Battery Packs. These packs can be changed or upgraded as lithium-ion cell technology improves.

Bee will also invest in future battery technology, aiming by 2015 to extend the range and speed of the Bee One to 200 miles (320km) and 100 mph (160 kph).

When the Battery Packs are upgraded, the software in the vehicles must also be
upgraded. Bee is working on software for vehicle on-board telemetry and an automotive software platform to provide direct sales (without dealers), after-sales and customer servicing.

Stephen Voller, Founder and Chairman of Bee Automobiles, who was recently featured on BBC's Dragon Den said: "We are looking forward to participating in LCV 2009 and compliment CENEX on organising the event to promote this important new sector. With so much turmoil in the automotive sector in recent times, it is important that developments in new low carbon vehicle technologies are promoted effectively."

Apart from the appearance on BBC Dragons Den, Bee Automobiles are probably best known for reviving the famous BRM marque in the BRM Bee Four ERV (electric racing vehicle), which - at 1400 bhp per tonne - would be one of the fastest cars ever built.

BRM (British Racing Motors) is a previous winner of the British Speed Hill Climb championship, the Formula 1 World Drivers and Constructors Championships and a total of 17 F1 Grands Prix, with Graham Hill and Sir Jackie Stewart among their winning drivers. In fact, BRM were the last all-British winners of both the F1 drivers and constructors championships in the same year.

Bee has developed significant knowhow and intellectual property (IP) in this area.
The Bee One electric car is due in 2011.

For further details please contact:

Stephen Voller (Chairman)
See him on BBC Dragons Den at

Bee Automobiles Ltd:
Registered in England no.066772173
200 Brook Drive, Green Park, Reading, RG2
Tel: +44 (0)118 949 7000
Fax: +44 (0)118 949 7001


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