|RJ Scaringe ’05 Creates “Green” Car Company
RJ Scaringe ’05 is no small dreamer: Founder of the new automotive company Avera Motors in Rockledge, Fla., he intends to change the way cars are designed, manufactured, and sold in the United States.
His first model is a highly fuel-efficient, affordably priced four-passenger sports car.
Promising the first working prototype by the fall of 2010, Scaringe has recruited a team of more than 30 automotive engineers and designers who have worked on such vehicles as Ford GT, Dodge Viper, Tesla Model S, and Jeep Grand Cherokee to develop a mid-engine, diesel-hybrid sports coupe that should cost less than a Toyota Prius.
“Avera’s vehicles are being developed to focus on car enthusiasts,” says Scaringe. “This is someone that wants an extremely fun sports car but can’t spend the money, needs more than two seats, or wants better efficiency.”
The company name, Avera a blend of “American,” “verde” meaning green, and “terra” meaning earth reflects both manufacturing efficiency and a fuel-efficient vehicle projected to double the mileage of current hybrid sedans.
Scaringe is not the first Rensselaer graduate in his family to combine pioneering technology with entrepreneurism. His father, Robert P. Scaringe ’74, Ph.D. ’78, is founder of Mainstream Engineering, which develops thermal control and energy conversion products, including a vapor compression refrigeration system that is onboard the International Space Station. Avera Motors is a spin-off of the parent company.
RJ Scaringe, who earned a Ph.D. at MIT, first dreamed of creating a car company when Mainstream began developing diesel engine technology. He sees Avera Motors not in competition with major automakers, but carving out a niche in the automotive industry.
In June, Avera Motors entered into a partnership with the economic development agency Space Florida to perform validation testing of a vehicle prototype. Scaringe hopes to have Avera Motors’ vehicles on display at auto shows in 2011 and cars on the road in early 2013. Long-range plans include additional models built off a shared platform, and by 2015 the company plans to employ more than 1,100 people.