Electric cars may be built in state

Published 11:59 pm Friday, July 10, 2009

Southeast Alabama Gas Co. has facilitated visits from a South Korean company that is considering Alabama as one of five possible sites for an electric vehicle manufacturing plant.

Greg Henderson, CEO of SEAG, said the company’s economic developer, Billy Joe Camp, helped facilitate CT&T Co., Ltd.’s first visit to Alabama.

“We hosted all of our municipalities who wanted to meet with them for a luncheon in Montgomery, and the Alabama Development Office (ADO) was there, as well,” Henderson said. “They (CT&T) have been out looking for a location and making presentations since Memorial Day.”

The company, which manufactures golf carts in South Korea, plans to build a headquarters and several manufacturing facilities in the United States, the company has said.

Its regional assembly and sales system is the first such concept in car history, the company’s presentation said. The benefits drive the cost down for consumers, allow for balanced growth of the company, and become community landmarks, officials said.

Henderson said the electric cars travel about 60 miles before needing to be recharged.

“It works for people who are driving around town,” he said. “And the timing is perfect in this economy.”

The company will sell the cars, priced in the $10,000 to $15,000 range, at the manufacturing sites. The vehicles are designed to be environmentally friendly, low- and mid-speed vehicles. A CT&T presentation recommends the vehicle’s use for commuting, delivery and patrol. The vehicle has passed both frontal and side crash tests.

Henderson said CT&T officials like several sites in Alabama, but the company has not yet narrowed its site search to a specific state.