Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Electric carmaker Green Vehicles has received a long-awaited $2 million grant from the California Energy Commission that will allow the company to begin producing its two-passenger Triac in Salinas' former Firestone plant. The tiny vehicle, which has a 100 mile range between charges and reaches a top speed of 80mph, will account for most of Green Vehicles' production at the Firestone plant, but the company will also churn out its minivan, Moose, in Salinas. Manufacturing at Firestone was to have started some six months ago, but CEC grant approval was delayed.
Green Vehicles had begun building cars mostly overseas, but the grant will allow it to do some 85 percent of its manufacturing domestically where the company's Mike Ryan says he can ensure that the operation is as green and efficient as possible.
The city of Salinas has also kicked in $300,000 for Green Vehicles' local venture, and has pledged $400,000 more. City officials have said that in addition to some 70 local jobs the company is expected to provide, it will serve as a tech hub, attracting other clean and green industry to Salinas. The company is also raising private equity money. Once it reaches its $5.5 million goal, Ryan says it will make some 2,000 cars every year in the city.
Green Vehicles is expected to make an official launch announcement in September.