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|23rd October 2009, 10:56||#1|
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Reva to build plant in Central New York
Syracuse, NY -- A company that wants Central New York workers to build a new generation of electric cars for North America has struck a crucial agreement with the Reva Electric Car Co. of India, removing one of the last hurdles to a deal for a new local assembly plant.
Bannon Automotive, of Long Island, has secured an exclusive North American licensing deal with the company, according to sources familiar with their negotiations.
The partners want to open their first North American plant in Onondaga County, where several sites are under consideration, the sources said. A state official said Monday that Bannon plans to renovate a 150,000-square-foot building in Clay.
The plant would initially employ 100 people, with the potential to add many more as the plant ramps up to full capacity.
Reva, Bannon and local development officials have been trying to put together a deal for about a year. The breakthrough came in the past two weeks when Reva’s board agreed to the licensing deal, the sources said.
The full Reva board must still approve a final memorandum of understanding with the company, and it was not clear Monday how much of the company’s financing package is complete.
New York state has agreed to provide an economic development package of $6.76 million, according to officials in Gov. David Paterson’s administration.
The partners have also applied for $52 million in loan guarantees and grants from the federal government, which have not yet been secured.
The bulk of that money, $40 million, would come in the form of the loan guarantees from the U.S. Department of Energy. The partners are seeking a $12 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Agency.
Officials at the Metropolitan Development Association of Syracuse and Central New York, the nonprofit group helping to put the deal together, declined to comment Monday.
Likewise, federal officials who have been involved in the deal, including Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Rep. Dan Maffei, D-DeWitt, declined to comment.
On Monday, Empire State Development Corp., the state’s business-creation arm, made its offer in a letter to Bannon, according to the state officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced yet.
The package consists of a $3 million grant from Empire State Development and $3.76 million in wage and tax credits, most tied to the state’s Empire Zone program.
In exchange for the state’s financial assistance, Bannon would be required to create 250 full-time jobs over three years and invest $26.5 million into the facility, the officials said.
The state deal will not be official until the company accepts the offer, but the administration officials said the company’s approval is expected because the offer contains the same terms state officials negotiated with the company over the past few months.
Gov. David Paterson participated directly in the discussions with the company and views the project as part of the state’s efforts to attract manufacturers of “clean energy” products, the officials said.
Paterson provided some insight into the state incentive package during a visit to Syracuse in late September. Paterson said he met with the company in May, and touted the fact that New York will receive 54 percent of federal stimulus grant money for research into advanced battery technologies.
Reva Electric Car Co., based in Bangalore, India, would build its new REVA NXR model at the new plant in Central New York. The three-door NXR hatchback was unveiled last month at an international auto show in Frankfurt, Germany.
Neither Reva nor Bannon officials could be reached Monday.
The NXR model is considered a marketable electric vehicle because it can reach speeds up to 65 mph with a range of 100 miles on a single charge of its lithium-ion battery pack. The car will come with a 15-minute fast-charge capability, although the full charge would take eight hours from a standard household outlet.
A related NXR city model would have a top speed of 50 mph, with a 50-mile range, on one charge of its cheaper lead-acid batteries.
Reva was established in 1994 as a joint venture between the Maini Group of India and AEV LLC, a California company, to manufacture environmentally friendly and cost-effective electric vehicles. The technology was developed in California. The cars are now sold across Asia and Europe.
SOURCE: THE POST STANDARD
|23rd October 2009, 23:20||#3|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Mar 2005
Thanked: 128 Times
It will be nice to see Revas running around the crowded streets of New York City. Looks like Reva is really going places - first the UK market and now the US market.
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