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ZAP To Build Electric Cars in Kentucky

By KBB.com Editors on August 26, 2008 5:09 PM
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Promoting the cause of electric vehicles and seeking to create new jobs for up to 4,000 workers, the state of Kentucky has agreed to a $48 million tax incentive package that will see ZAP (Zero Air Pollution) cars, one of the world's largest EV producers and its partner, Integrity Automotive, construct a new $84 million, 1,000,000-sq ft assembly facility in Franklin. Headquartered in Santa Rosa, California, ZAP currently manufactures its burgeoning fleet of electric cars, scooters, ATVs, bikes and marine engines in China. The Integrity Automotive-focused tax break does come with certain contingency requirements, as its maximum dollar amount will depend on meeting the 4,000-job bogey within four years of the facility being opened.

One of the keys to luring ZAP to build this new plant in Kentucky came earlier in the month, when Governor Steve Beshear issued an executive order permitting low-speed electric vehicles to be driven on any road in the state with a speed limit of 45 mph or under. ZAP currently sells a number of three-wheeled models in the $11,000-$15,000 range that are classified as motorcycles and capable of reaching 40 mph. However, it's the company's new model, the Alias, that's creating the most buzz. This sleek three-wheel coupe, which will sticker at $32,500 when it goes on sale sometime next year, promises 7.7 second 0-60 mph times, a 100-mph top speed and a range in excess of 100 miles.

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