As the doors of the metal fabrication company Integrity Manufacturing closed last week, so did the funding prospects behind a manufacturing plant that would make Zap electric vehicles in Kentucky and supposedly deliver 4,000 green jobs. But like a green zombie that just won’t die, Zap and a new affiliate called Zap Motor Manufacturing of Kentucky have devised a plan to resurrect the plant with the most solid of funding options: hundreds of millions of dollars in Department of Energy loans and tens of millions from an unnamed “New York-based financial firm.”
As Seth and Amy say: Really. Integrity was also betting on $200 million in loans from the DOE’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan Program, but couldn’t seem to survive even the few months until the loans are supposed to be doled out. There are more than 70 applications for those funds as of the beginning of this year.
The duo behind Zap Motor Manufacturing of Kentucky, which was formed solely to get the plant built, is CEO Gary Dodd, who was a general manager for Toyota and President Darryl Keels, who worked for Mercedes-Benz U.S. International. It’s not clear what other experience they have that would be beneficial for building an electric vehicle plant and maneuvering local, state and federal incentives.
The two claim that the new electric vehicle plant could create up to 8,615 “new direct, indirect and induced jobs,” (whatever that means) and generate nearly $40 million per year in state and local tax revenue. That’s more than double the number of jobs promised for the previous plant. OK, Governor Beshear, hopefully you learned a valuable lesson last time: don’t rest on something that’s built on shaky financial ground.