Phoenix Motorcars, based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., takes an outsourced distributed approach to building its all-electric Sports Utility Truck (SUT). The vehicle platform—all the metal, glass, and components, except for an engine and fuel system—is supplied by Ssangyong, Korea’s fourth largest automaker. (Ssangyong doesn’t sell cars in the United States). For the SUT’s 100 kW electric motor system, Phoenix taps UQM Technologies, which has 25 years of experience in building high-performance motors, generators, and controllers. The rechargeable batteries are supplied by Altair Nanotechnology, and the vehicle integration is completed by Boshart Engineering.

The results? A practical truck that offers a 1,000 pounds of payload capacity, 120 horsepower performance capable of 0-60 mph in less than 10 seconds, and top speeds of 95 mph. Plug the vehicle into a 220-volt outlet (like the one used for your electric home clothes dryer) for about six hours using the on-board charger to achieve about 130 miles of range. Phoenix Motorcars sells the vehicle for about $45,000, but only to fleet-buyers for now. The company has ambitious plans to produce 6,000 units for the consumer market in 2008.