Officials with the company that plans to start assembling electric cars in central Iowa are setting a timetable for cranking out the first of their new “green-energy” vehicles. Bill Williams, spokesman for EnVision Motor Company in Ames, says the factory in Webster City is being equipped and stocked now.
“We’re planning on a car rolling off the assembly line before November 1st,” Williams says. “I’m trying to be very general because I hate to set deadlines and then not meet them.” EnVision is working with A-M-S, Incorporated and Eagle Manufacturing of Webster City to produce the line of electric cars, vans and pickups. Williams says the vehicles will not be fully made in Iowa.
“We found what’s called a glider, a car that we can buy from a European company that does not have a motor or a gas tank in it,” he says. “We will assemble and continue the process by putting in the batteries and the controller and the motor and make it an electric vehicle right there in Webster City.” Plans for the car company were made public in July and Williams says it’s been very busy since then, gathering all of the components to start production.
“We’ve got close to 50 bodies that have arrived,” he says. “I was there when the trucks arrived and it was like the Wells Fargo wagon is coming to town in ‘The Music Man.’ Everybody started following the trucks down and it was an amazing scene.” Fifty people will be hired in the coming weeks for the new company.
By this time next year, it’s estimated the firm will have 300 people on the assembly line. Iowa Workforce Development is handling applications for employment. Williams says they’ll ramp up production to handle as many as “a few thousand cars a month” by early 2011.
By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City