He’s still got the goods, says electric-car pioneer at Avenir show

Vying for the dark blue-gold seats that mar the backseats of Ariel’s fourth-generation Ford Lightning this week was a man with two weeks’ training and a speech somewhere between flippant and tactical. The Chicago-based…

He’s still got the goods, says electric-car pioneer at Avenir show

Vying for the dark blue-gold seats that mar the backseats of Ariel’s fourth-generation Ford Lightning this week was a man with two weeks’ training and a speech somewhere between flippant and tactical. The Chicago-based MTT Automotive is, among other things, the automaker that inadvertently drove the price of electric vehicles to $4,500, but has also, in doing so, perfected the customer journey: nine families were previewing the MTT line, which includes an electric Hybrid three-wheeler, a Cargo Carrier called an Azure Royal, and the Lightning.

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Vying for the dark blue-gold seats that mar the backseats of Ariel’s fourth-generation Ford Lightning this week was a man with two weeks’ training and a speech somewhere between flippant and tactical. The Chicago-based MTT Automotive is, among other things, the automaker that inadvertently drove the price of electric vehicles to $4,500, but has also, in doing so, perfected the customer journey: nine families were previewing the MTT line, which includes an electric Hybrid three-wheeler, a Cargo Carrier called an Azure Royal, and the Lightning.

Brothers Tim and Mike MTT — his father Tim established the company — dropped in all week, chatting with folks one on one at a diner down the street or going to functions in their black custom Ford.

“We take the customer experience seriously,” Tim MTT told me the other day. As in, building a business on the back of that experience, even as the going gets tougher with increasingly expensive EVs.

But it’s also hard to say he’s selling anything. To prove it, I asked him if, after all these years of Raptor trucks, an electric Golf is a throwback or a novelty.

“It’s a hybrid,” he demurred. For starters, you can move cargo in the Azure, but he showed off the foot pedals, which as he pointed out, do double duty. Underneath the hood is a larger battery pack than the car’s last generation, and the car is powered by a supercharger that recharges the battery within 45 minutes. The twin 29-kilowatt electric motors, however, alone are enough to get the car from 0 to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds. A promised full charge will take about five hours at 70 to 80 mph.

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