Kentucky and Indiana compete to build electric cars
Indiana and Kentucky are in a showdown over a new electric car plant. The builder is considering sites in Clark County, Indiana, and southern Kentucky.
Integrity Manufacturing and Zap Electric Cars want to build a new plant and hire as many as 2,000 workers. They had written off Kentucky until the governor signed an order, making the vehicles legal to drive in the state.
Governor Beshear drove one of the Zap electric trucks at its dealer in Shepherdsville. After his executive order on Tuesday, Beshear could soon drive one of the vehicles legally on Kentucky roads. They have been banned until now.
That order and tax incentives could convince the Zap company and Integrity Manufacturing to build a plant in the state. Kentucky's hurrying to offer tax incentives to meet a deadline of the middle of the month.
"We're excited where we are so far. And now we're going to spend the next few days and close this deal," said Beshear. The plant would build various Zap models starting late next year. Randall Waldman, Integrity Manufacturing's CEO, says the Kentucky site is at Franklin, near the Tennessee border.
If Kentucky lands the plant, he says the current Integrity operation would likely stay at Shepherdsville. But there's competition. Company officials confirm they met with Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels at the Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis.
The state of Indiana already has a tax incentive plan on the table. It calls for Zap to build at Clark Maritime Center or River Ridge Commerce Center north of Jeffersonville. If Indiana lands the plant, Waldman says the Integrity operation and its 300 jobs would move there from Shepherdsville.
"Truthfully Indiana's probably a little ahead of the game. Indiana's numbers are already in. Right now we're waiting for the numbers from Kentucky so we can evaluate both of those packages," Waldman said.
Indiana already allows electric cars on its roads. Waldman says the companies receive 100 orders a day for the electric vehicles.