With labor and quality costs in China getting more expensive, ZAP (OTCBB: ZAAP) is looking at other places to build its line of electric vehicles.
Kentucky has risen higher in consideration with the efforts of Integrity Manufacturing to help secure $68 million in state incentives for large-scale manufacturing. Preliminary approval for this package came Aug. 15 from the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority.
Though less than two years old, Integrity’s Louisville plant now builds items for HomeDepot, EMD and most recently signed a $10-million contract with Boston-based BioDefense Corp. to produce their MailDefender security device.
ZAP has operated since 1994 and sold about 100,000 vehicles during that time in 75 countries. The company is already a partner in a joint venture with Youngman Automotive Group. The project, called Detroit Electric, is developing the ZAP Alias, a highway-capable electric vehicle.
ZAP primarily manufactures and sells its vehicles in China. Integrity reports that its growth over the past year is due to offering a competitive alternative to products once made in China and other countries.
Larry Cottingham is also working with Integrity to expand the use of electric vehicles in Kentucky – and beyond – to grow a domestic market for these vehicles, which don’t rely on petroleum to run. Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear recently signed an executive order allowing LSVs, or low-speed electric vehicles, on the roads of the Bluegrass state, an August signing event attended by CEO Steve Schneider, whose company (ZAP) and vehicles, specifically the 40-mph Xebra, will benefit from the order.
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