Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
Gov. Beshear announces 4,000 new jobs coming to Simpson County
Integrity Automotive, ZAP to build $84 million plant to manufacture electric vehicles
FRANKFORT, Ky. — Governor Steve Beshear and Economic Development Cabinet Secretary John Hindman today announced that Integrity Automotive, LLC has chosen Simpson County as the location to construct a new $84 million facility that will be used to manufacture low-speed electric vehicles.
A tax incentive package worth up to $48 million was approved on August 15, 2008, by the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority to entice Integrity Automotive to locate its new North American auto manufacturing facility in Kentucky. The project represents a partnership between Integrity and the California-based Zero Air Pollution (ZAP) electric car maker to expand its manufacturing operations currently based in China. Both Integrity and ZAP have pledged that a final agreement has been reached to build the one-million square foot plant in Franklin, Kentucky.
“This represents an investment not only in Kentucky’s economy but also in the future of this country,” said Gov. Beshear. “The long-term security and economic health of this nation depends in part on its ability to become energy independent. This plant, and the vehicles it’s designed to produce, could be an important part of that strategy.”
The incentives are also based on the company’s commitment to create 4,000 new full-time jobs for Kentucky residents within the first four years of the project’s completion. The average hourly wage plus benefits for the new jobs is approximately $20 per hour, exclusive of benefits. The new plant will be situated on more than 225 acres in the Franklin industrial park.
“These are good, high-paying jobs, the kind that have been so important to this state over many years and are even more important in this tough economic period,” Gov. Beshear said.
Earlier this month, Gov. Beshear signed an executive order permitting the use of low-speed electric vehicles on Kentucky highways with a posted speed limit of 45 mph or less. Integrity and ZAP officials acknowledged this action by Gov. Beshear was critical to their decision to choose Kentucky over neighboring Indiana as the plant’s home state.
ZAP has been a leader in advanced transportation technologies since 1994, delivering over 100,000 vehicles to consumers in more than 75 countries. ZAP is positioning its business at the forefront of fuel-efficient transportation with new technologies including energy-efficient gas systems, electric, hybrid and other innovative power systems.
Listen to Gov. Beshear's statement at the press conference (1.89MB MP3)