A local news story reports that Philadelphia based BG Automotive is looking for manufacturing sites in the Boston area including Bridgewater, Taunton, Fall River and New Bedford. The facility will be for mass production of their C100 neighborhood electric vehicle and employ about 150 people per shift. The company is looking for a site for a 60,000 – 100,000 square foot facility and is currently seeking funding.
Since the vehicle’s parts are imported and most of the activity at the facility would be assembly the company expects vehicle production could begin in as little as four months once a facility is found. The chassis and body of the vehicle are imported while components like the motor, controller and batteries are manufactured in the U.S. Delivery of the first vehicle is expected to be in April or May of 2009 according to the company’s website.
Another news source also states that
The company is planning to develop six facilities in the next 24 months for a total production of about 100,000 vehicles by year-end 2010.
I thought these latter figures were quite aggressive so I placed a call with BG Automotive and was able to speak with Barry Bernstein, the founder of the company.
He confirmed that the company is looking to develop six facilities with the ability to produce around 15,000 vehicles each annually. While our estimates of the LSV market size the market at less than 10,000 vehicles a year, Bernstein noted that interest in their vehicle has been higher than expected with over 44,000 people signing up on their website. No deposit is required to sign up initially but as the actual production date moves closer a deposit is required.
Bernstein also noted that the facilities will be designed to easily switch over to highway-speed electric vehicle production which is in the company’s long term plans. Besides Massachusetts, the Philadelphia based company is also looking to place facilities close to major LSV markets including California, Georgia, Texas, Northern Florida, Pennsylvania and the Tennessee – Kentucky area. They are applying for loan guarantees and other support from both federal and state agencies but will be able to scale down their facilities if they cannot garner this support. Bernstein expects to have more information on their site selection in about two weeks.
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