Solectria was a company committed to building electric vehicles that would change the world. Founder and CEO James Worden and his cars regularly won the annual American Tour de Sol race for electric vehicles. Beginning in 1988 with components for solar racers, the company advanced to EV conversions, and finally, the Solectria Sunrise, the most efficient and advanced electric vehicle to date. The goal was to partner with a major automaker to produce the Sunrise, much like General Motors had done with Aerovironment to produce their EV1.
But, it was not to be. Just as the Sunrise was nearing completion, California backed down on its ZEV mandate. Freed of the need to build EVs, the automakers rushed to recall and crush their prototype EVs and canceled further EV development. With no hope of finding a customer for their Sunrise, Solectria merged with Azure Dynamics Inc. to produce Solectria's other electric vehicle components and spun off Solectria Renewables to produce grid-tied inverters and other renewable energy products.