Integrity Automotive’s plans to build an $84 million factory in Franklin to produce electric cars have been stalled by the national economic slowdown, which has resulted in problems securing financing for the project.
Integrity Automotive President and CEO Randall Waldman told the Franklin Favorite that U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Jim Bunning are working to help the company obtain a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to help get the project back on track. Waldman has said that for the Franklin project to move forward, the company will need to secure new investors or $150 million to $200 million in federal funding.
In the meantime, Waldman says he has received $40 million in orders for the ZAP electric car and is in the process of retrofitting part of the company’s plant in Shepherdsville so that they can begin filling those orders. The company currently has approximately 200 employees in Shepherdsville and plans to add between 25 and 50 in the coming weeks so production can begin in the first quarter of 2009. Integrity officials expect to be able to produce 25 vehicles per day at the Shepherdsville facility. Waldman’s plan is to install equipment in Shepherdsville that can be moved to Franklin when the new plant becomes operational.