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Old 01-27-2011, 02:21 PM   #156 (permalink)
Frank Lee
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Hybrid engine company closes doors
Expositor Features Editor

Plans to manufacture Doug Pelmear’s much-touted and revolutionary hybrid engine purported to get 110 miles per gallon could wait indefinitely while he seeks financial backing.

Pelmear announced Jan. 19 that his facility at 115 E. Linfoot St. in Wauseon has closed. His original plan called for production of the innovative V8 400-horsepower electric engine to start at the location last year.

The company has closed indefinitely because an agreement made last October for a minimum of $100,000 in grant support from the State of Ohio fell through. The former Strickland administration canceled the grant from the Department of Development after a bank in the arrangement offering a $450,000 line of credit for purchasing orders failed to meet a time-sensitive deadline.

The money would have supported the manufacture and ordering of the company’s Flex Fuel Chip, electronics that adapt an automobile engine to accept ethanol-based fuel.

The chip, which cost Pelmear $1.3 million in self-financing to develop, is’s first step in converting standard engines to fuel-efficient hybrids. The chip has been prototyped and made, and was scheduled for mass production by a Texas company.

His financial backing gone, Pelmear solicited area banks. He said all of them rejected his financial proposal either because they consider HP2g a start-up business or because they don’t want to invest in the automotive field.

He received a $50,000 loan from Henry County but getting other assistance has proven difficult. Revolving loan fund money requested from the City of Wauseon was denied last fall after Pelmear didn’t provide adequate information.

“I’m shelving (HP2g) at this time until funding might be put into place,” he said. “I’ve got to basically regroup. I’m just really disappointed. If the banks were doing their job we wouldn’t need the government to give us loans.”

The interruption has cost the positions of Mark Schnitkey, the company’s business development manager, and volunteers hoping to snag ground-floor opportunities once the business began full-scale operation.

Even more frustrating for Pelmear are multi-billion dollar offers for his engine technology coming in from both governments and private manufacturers in Canada, Denmark, China and the Middle East, among others.

“I had the ability to sell everything I had to foreign interests. I’ve had multiple offers by multiple countries,” he said.

If he sold out to them, Ford, General Motors and Chrysler “would be impacted heavily. So I would rather do nothing at all than do harm to my own nation. I’m trying to take the higher road,” Pelmear said.

He’s also had numerous domestic offers to sell, but the companies insist on owning more than half of HP2g, “and I’m not willing to give up ownership of my company,” he said.

“I’m really disappointed with where this is going. I look at what I have as a solution to helping our fuel prices, emissions output and jobs.”

HP2g suffered its first major setback in March 2009, when Pelmear withdrew from an exclusive contract with Revenge Designs, an automobile manufacturer in Decatur, Ind. Pelmear took back the company’s rights to sell HR2g products after it violated terms of the agreement.

According to Pelmear, his fuel-fired ethanol engine operates on a variable displacement system that can transition from running on all cylinders to just one when not “under load.” It also operates on a pulse basis, so that the electric field generating wheel power can cycle on and off to save energy.

The basic, patented technology, which runs on E85 ethanol-based fuel and can be supported by a traditional automotive battery, has been displayed at car shows in Detroit and Las Vegas.

There is still hope for a potential $75 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy. The department specifically included hybrid engines within the qualifications, so Pelmear is optimistic about his chances when the awards are announced in September.

What he isn’t certain about is whether production facilities would be re-opened in Wauseon.

“That’s yet to be determined,” he said. “I’ve got to look at what’s available. Wauseon has treated me really well, and I appreciate what they’ve done, but funding is everything.”

Mayor Jerry Dehnbostel said because the company hasn’t yet produced products it’s hard to determine the negative impact it would have leaving the city.

“He’s got a good product here. It can be a great boon to all of northwest Ohio as well as to the country,” Dehnbostel said.

Pelmear said despite the his trouble getting financial backing he won’t give up on mass distribution of his inventions.

“I do believe at some time this is going to happen,” he said.

OMG, look at this B.S.

I hope that NOBODY ever takes what the media prints/airs at face value EVER. I have been in communication with them and they haven't indicated any desire to print/air the truth.

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