When EV startups go wrong (Spark EV)

Spark EV

The electric automobile industry seems to a have wild, wild west aura about it right now, with its brave, independent startups and entrepreneurs, gold diggers, snake-oil salesmen, and vigilante policing. This atmosphere will continue until the big guns decide to take over and crush the little guys.

But for now, we have companies like Spark EV. Apparently, it was run by a guy in his basement, but still managed to make VentureBeat’s “30 electric car companies ready to take over the road” It mainly just consisted of a guy buying electric cars from China and selling them to dealerships in America; not rocket science. Well, homeboy couldn’t operate at the speed of business and the dealerships got mad over undelivered cars. Mad enough to press charges and effectively end our guy’s operation. But before this, he did create enough hype to be recognized on the world stage with his computer generated image of the Comet concept (see above, it was supposed to be released early 2008). Did he even have the wheels yet? Was it really going be fabricated, or was he a snake oil salesman looking for investors? We’ll never know, you can make your own educated guess from the Spark EV site, which now is nothing but a spiteful tale written by the CEO about his company’s demise. Speaking about yourself in the third person in fairy tale format never helps your credibility. I don’t know if this story is encouraging because it seems as though anyone can start an electric vehicle business, or disappointing because some of the major players in the ev market are such shady operations.

2 thoughts on “When EV startups go wrong (Spark EV)”

  1. I’m amazed at how negative people have been against this guy. Import/export businesses are often home-based. Why in the world would anyone rent an office space, just so that he or she could call and email people in China? Smart small businesses don’t rent offices, buy ping pong tables and all that – they stay one-man or one-woman shops and use technology to leverage themselves.

    From his website, it sounds like the dealers messed up the supply chain, so that cars were left at the dock. So it doesn’t sound like he was shady, just not very good at planning cash flow (and probably lacked an emergency business credit line).

    My 2 cents.

  2. Your 2 cents is ‘noted’; but there are many disgruntled victims of Mr. Papp and Spark~EV that are speaking out. (me included)!

    NO, it was a SCAM and HOAX, even the ‘designer’/artist of the COMET diagram, Mr. Gianpaolo Alvino, never got paid for his ‘artwork’, and a prototype was never built, even with a published release date of Oct 2007 (later ‘changed’ to early 2008 and taking ‘deposits’)! I have found no evidence that even ONE ‘Zotye’ SUV-EV was ever ‘converted’ to EV or delivered.

    I doubt that there is any ‘evidence’ that “cars were left at the dock”, since Mr. Papp had even told his Arkansas dealers that the vehicles were already ‘converted’ and enroute via truck (gave them a false shipping number). The ‘at the dock’ story surfaced AFTER the dealers traveled to PA, confronted him at his home/office, and had him arrested. The police could find no evidence of a ‘dealership’, or conversion/storage facility.

    It is true that there are many honest, home-run businesses; but Spark~EV was NOT one of them.
    The owner of Spark~EV, Mr. Michael J. Papp, has a long history of ‘cons’ and ’scams’ (as a ‘Google Search’ will find); even before he was jailed for his Spark~EV hi-jinx. No sympathy for a ‘SCAMMER’! It is truly a shame that there are parasites that are trying to live off of people’s dreams of a GREEN future.

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