With the recent announcement that ZAP Motor Manufacturing of Kentucky, Inc. has taken over the production and building of ZAP's facility in Franklin, Kentucky some questions still remain.
Later this week, ZAP will sign an exclusive agreement giving ZAP Motor Manufacturing a worldwide manufacturing and supply agreement, but funding for the operations in Kentucky still remain a concern.
Last month, Steve Schneider the CEO of ZAP and Gary Dodd the CEO of ZAP Motor Manufacturing, Darryl Keels the President of ZAP Motor Manufacturing, and Dennis Griffin the Executive Director of the Franklin County Industrial Development Authority headed off to Washington, D.C. to attend a meeting with official from the Department of Energy program. Their intention was to secure a loan from the Department of Energy's $25 billion Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program.
The meeting was held to talk about the application by ZAP Motor Manufacturing to receive a loan in the amount of 160 million dollars. CEO Gary Dodd is optimistic that there loan will be approved. There are over 75 loan applications for similar funding for advanced vehicles and the competition is stiff.
Aside from government funding, Dodd cites that a New York based financial firm is highly interested in providing an additional $40 million in funding. Dodd believes that the capital required to fund the project in Franklin, Kentucky will be achieved before the end of the year.
What does this mean for Kentucky and the future of ZAP? For ZAP, the creation of vehicles in Kentucky will give them a central location in the U.S. to produce vehicles. This will allow ZAP to offer a broad line of vehicles and bring affordable electric cars to market. For the residents of Kentucky, the ZAP Motor Manufacturing facility could bring up to 8,615 new direct and indirect jobs to an area that has been severely hit by the economic downturn. Also the facility could generate up to $40 million annually in state and local tax revenue. In the area surrounding Franklin, Kentucky, there are an estimated 19,000 people without work. The ZAP facility could significantly change that number.
The future of ZAP vehicles being produced in Franklin, Kentucky no longer seems to be in doubt. Residents are hopeful that the facility will be finished soon and they look forward to ZAP vehicles being produced in Kentucky.
Source: Press Release March 9 Atticus Ventures / Public Affairs for ZAP Motor Manufacturing