Former Vice President Al Gore is embarking on a new path. He is starting companies that will compete in important industries. The focus will be on products that will be energy efficient and support other policy goals.
After a career in politics, Gore reinvented himself as an entrepreneur in the entertainment industry. "An Inconvenient Truth," was one of the most successful documentaries in history. He also started a new TV network, Current TV, which has consistently performed among the top 500 channels.
First up in the new Al Gore ventures is Gore Motor Company. Since GMC is taken as a stock ticker symbol, and is already a somewhat recognized brand name in the car industry, Gore Motor Company will instead be known as GoMo.
"GoMo vehicles will be leaders in energy efficiency, environmental principles and safety," said Gore. He introduced a prototype of the first vehicle the company will sell, the 2-seater GoMo Osprey. For energy efficiency, the Osprey will be powered by a 1.0 liter bio-diesel engine paired with a hybrid system. To avoid toxicity concerns, the hybrid battery uses a Nickel-Zinc-Granite chemistry. Gore explained that "Nickel-Zinc is the latest thing in non-toxic batteries, but we are going a step further in using granite for stability."
To minimize environmental damage, GoMo vehicles including the Osprey will be manufactured from recycled materials including paper, glass, and plastic. No metals will be used due to the amount of energy required to recycle them, though minimal metal is used in the battery. The compromise does mean that the engine cannot run at temperatures over 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 Celsius), so the first-generation motor produces only 25 horsepower. Gore admitted that the power is a bit less than most modern cars, "but with the battery it comes up to about 50 horsepower and will do 0-55 mph runs in less than 30 seconds - it's an acceptable trade-off. And it achieves 75 miles per gallon running on either recycled cooking grease or low-sulfur diesel fuel."
Gore also noted that the low speeds will improve vehicle safety, along with the extensive crush zones. While the latter give the Osprey exterior proportions on the scale of the Hummer H2, the lack of metal keeps the weight down to a mere 4000 pounds. The Osprey will debut in 2012 at a loss-leading $99,000, but as manufacturing techniques improve GoMo hopes to get down to a more reasonable $75K for the two-seater Osprey. A $90K 3-seat sedan will debut in 2014.
It is hoped that the name GoMo will broaden appeal in the gay community. The company will use the tagline "GoMos for Homos" in gay and lesbian media, and also in the educational media market.
Next up is Gore Computers. GoCo, which promises to bring back 286 performance with low energy consumption, will market its machines in Starbucks as GoCo for Cocoa. Al Gore, the man who invented the internet is now going to reinvent modern industry.