Electric Car Factory Breaks Ground in Kentucky

Sept. 15, 2008
Integrity Automotive, ZAP joint venture will manufacture cars

Work has begun at the site of an electric car factory in Franklin, Ky. Integrity Manufacturing will be the majority stakeholder in the new Kentucky-based joint venture to manufacture electric vehicles exclusively for global distribution for ZAP.

The factory, which is one million square foot, is valued at $100 million and will begin producing electric vehicles within 12 months. The plant will initially employ 1,000.

A prototype electric vehicle called the ZAP Alias proposed for the factory was unveiled at the groundbreaking ceremony which was held on August 28. The two companies are discussing ways to expand manufacturing for ZAP's entire product line in Kentucky. ZAP CEO Steve Schneider said the joint venture would be a huge boost for ZAP's business plans, which have seen record orders this year tied to record gas prices. Most of ZAP's manufacturing is currently in China.

To assist in the plant construction, Waldman said the City of Franklin is preparing $76 million in industrial revenue bonds. The State of Kentucky has pledged financial incentives for economic development and job creation that the factory would bring.

"We wanted to come to a place where the community would support us," said Randall Waldman of Integrity Manufacturing. Integrity Manufacturing has a combined square footage of over 250,000 square feet in three Kentucky locations.

"What Randy has put together, and the legislators in Kentucky, it made things happen at lightning speed. That's what America should be about," said Schneider at the ceremony. "Now with all the economic incentives that Kentucky has put together at such a rapid pace, those incentives have allowed us to offset the low-cost of labor in China and bring manufacturing back to America, and that's something we are very, very proud of." Schneider added: "We are hopeful the Federal Government will assist programs like this that spur job creation in America."

In August, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear signed an executive order to expand the use of electric vehicles on Kentucky roads and endorsed an economic development package that would provide $48 million in incentives to Integrity Manufacturing to create jobs manufacturing electric vehicles. "This represents an investment not only in this community, but in the future of this country," said Governor Steve Beshear, who welcomed the companies and noted the importance of investing energy efficient technologies and increasing the use of renewable resources.

ZAP has been in electric transportation since 1994, delivering over 100,000 vehicles to consumers in more than 75 countries. Currently, ZAP manufactures a line of electric vehicles, including electric city-cars and trucks, motorcycles, scooters, bicycles, and ATVs. ZAP sells one of the only electric city-cars and trucks in production today and is developing a high-performance electric vehicle called the ZAP Alias.

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