One central Iowa town leader is putting the brakes on enthusiasm over last week’s announcement about hundreds of new jobs assembling electric cars, saying “it’s not a done deal.” Ed Sadler, city manager of Webster City, says there’s the promise Ames-based EnVision Motor Company will create 300 jobs in Webster City, but for now acceleration is slow.
“This is in its infancy,” Sadler says. “They are just starting. This month, hopefully, their production is 40 vehicles. They are assembling them here, they are not manufacturing them. There’s a lot of hurdles for the company to overcome before it gets to that success stage of 2,500 cars a month.”
The company’s station wagons, trucks and cargo vans are billed as being able to go 200-miles on a charge, with an annual electric cost of just $55. While the announcement is very encouraging, Sadler says they have to stay realistic.
“There’s a lot of financing, a lot of requirements, and besides that, the cars have gotta’ sell,” Sadler says. “I’m glad this happened, it’s good news for us, but it’s not a done deal. There’s still a lot of hurdles for them to go through. There’s a lot of things the city can help them with and that the state can help them with.”
EnVision officials say the goal is to have 300 people working at the assembly facility in Webster City by sometime next year. The news comes on the heels of the closing of the Electrolux washer and dryer facility in early 2011 as production moves to Mexico, eliminating some 850 jobs. Sadler says he’s optimistic about the new venture as many people are interested in vehicles that run on “alternative” fuels.
“There’s still a lot of steps to go through with this car,” he says. “I hope it’s a success. Probably its biggest advantage is, there are no such things as charging stations for them. They plug in to a 110 outlet. So anywhere you can find an outlet, you can charge up the vehicle.”
The company says the battery should be good for 300,000 miles and is made, essentially, of saltwater. The vehicles can reach a top speed of 85 miles an hour and are expected to retail between $32,300 to $37,300.
Learn more about the cars at: “www.envisionmotorcompany.com“.
By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City