Seoul-based CT&T United, which bills itself as the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles, has secured a deal to build an assembly plant in Hawaii that will eventually produce as many as 10,000 vehicles a year and employ up to 400 people.
The plant, estimated to cost somewhere between US$35 million and US$50 million, will be constructed within the next two years.
The company is currently scouting four possible sites on the island of Oahu. CT&T says its investments will total $200 million.
The Korean carmaker plans to sell foreign-built electric cars at a new dealership to open in Honolulu in six months until its Oahu assembly line is launched.
Gov. Linda Lingle, a major advocate of green energy in the state, and CT&T CEO Lee Young-gi last week signed an agreement paving the way for the new facility, which will produce small two-seaters that reach a top speed of 40 mph (Hawaiian city speed limits range from 25 to 35 mph). The vehicles will cost between US$8,000 and US$20,000, depending on the model and accessories.
Nissan Motor Co. (TYO:7201), maker of the LEAF electric car, is also eyeing the 50th state as one of the first markets it plans to enter. The Nissan Leaf, slated to hit local roads early next year, is expected to sell for $32,780.
Hawaii plans to set an example for renewables use in the United States by aiming to supply 70% of its energy needs from clean sources within 20 years.
Image courtesy of ECarsAvenue
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