After three years of quietly designing prototypes, Porteon Electric Vehicles Inc. wants to raise $15 million to begin production of a lineup of electric cars.
With volatile gas prices and frenzied consumer demand for green products, CEO Ken Montler said the company’s potential is enormous.
“We will not be limited by sales, but by how fast we want to crank up manufacturing” said Montler from the company’s unmarked office in Northwest Portland.
Whether manufacturing will happen in Portland, however, remains an open question.
The company wants to make its cars here, but Montler said local officials, such as Gov. Ted Kulongoski and Mayor-elect Sam Adams, remain focused on attracting Asian automakers at the expense of local companies.
Meanwhile, Porteon is being wooed by other states, as well as Mexico. The opportunities to manufacture elsewhere could be too good to pass up.
“We want to assemble in Portland,” Montler said. “Everybody wants us to move.”
Porteon’s vehicles, which will retail for around $10,000, are designed for 35 mph speed limits and get about 40 miles per charge, making them more useful as secondary vehicles.
Montler, a former executive of Gem Electric Motorcars, said the vehicles are designed to serve urban communities. He said 75 percent of all vehicle trips are short jaunts to the grocery story or other neighborhood destinations.