Triton Solar Hypes Massive EV
New Jersey-based battery and solar panel specialist Triton Solar aims to expand into the electric vehicle market in a big way. Perhaps too big.
Triton Model H (Image: Triton EV)
The company, which was formed in 2012 by engineering graduates from IIT Bombay, is developing a high-powered, full-size SUV that carries a starting price of $140,000.
Triton has begun taking $5,000 deposits for the vehicle, which is dubbed the Model H. The first 100 customers will get a Founder's Edition with unspecified bonus features.
Hefty Performance Claims
Triton says the Model H will feature a 200-kWh battery that will enable the vehicle to drive an estimated 700 miles between charges. The proprietary battery system, which also can be configured to send power to a house or back to the grid, is said to be half the size and half the weight of conventional EV units.
Four electric motors will generate a combined 1,500 hp and propel the SUV from zero to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds, according to the carmaker. Towing capacity is listed at 26,000 lbs.
A de-tuned base model also is said to be in the works. It’s expected to have a 150-kWh battery, 500-mile range, 1,000-hp output and 15,400-lb capacity. It also will be priced at $140,000, while the performance variant will eventually increase to $180,000 sometime after launch.
Large Footprint, Familiar Design
Sitting on a 130-inch wheelbase, the massive Model H stretches 224 inches from bumper to bumper and weighs a hefty 5,300 lbs. It is 81 inches wide, 74 inches tall and can accommodate eight adults with three rows of seating and 200 cu-ft of cargo capacity.
Design renderings show a clean, boxy construction akin to the Chevrolet Suburban. Highlights include quad LED daytime running lights, flush retractable door handles and a retractable running board.
The interior is loaded with touchscreens for passengers to use in all three rows. The panoramic glass roof can be fitted with solar panels to help power auxiliary features.
A Dose of Reality
If this all sounds too good to be true (except the price), you’re probably right.
Triton plans to produce the vehicle in the U.S. (possibly with parts made in India to reduce costs) but didn’t say where or when this might happen.
In recent years, there have been dozens of companies espousing grandiose plans for breakthrough EVs. Few have come to fruition. And many of these have been well-funded and attracted top-level talent from traditional carmakers.
Triton EV’s website describes its automotive team as being “car enthusiasts who design and build products for other car enthusiasts.” The group reportedly built India’s first Formula E electric race car. But none appear to have come from the auto industry.
As of now, the Model H only exists in design renderings. This may be as far as it gets.
Chrysler pioneered the modern-day minivan more than 30 years ago and has been refining and improving that type of vehicle ever since.
Hyundai enters the American market with a new parallel hybrid system that uses lithium-polymer batteries and the same six-speed automatic found in non-hybrid versions of the 2011 Sonata.
The historic plant has built—and is building—a lot of cars in its 70-year run of commercial vehicle production. Today, with the e-Golf and the GTE, it is making what are arguably the most-advanced Volkswagens out there.