Franklin, Kentucky, will be the home of new venture Integrity Automotive, which will build the Zap Alias, among other vehicles. The first shovelfuls of dirt were lifted last Friday, and the first cars are expected to roll off the assembly line in a year. Zap brought a protype of the space-age-looking Alias to the groundbreaking.
The 200-acre site is being prepped for a 1-million-square-foot manufacturing facility that will employ 1000 people and produce electric vehicles for Zap’s global distribution. Currently, most of Zap’s electric vehicles, including the popular little Xebra neighborhood electric vehicle, are built in China. Kentucky put together $48 million in incentives to lure Zap to bring jobs to their state instead of farming them out to Asia, and the city of Franklin has pledged $76 million in industrial revenue bonds. Kentucky’s governor, Steve Beshear, also signed an executive order to expand the use of EVs in the state.
The plant is a joint venture between Integrity Manufacturing, one of Kentucky’s fastest-growing businesses, and Zap. The EV builder has had a shaky reputation in the past for following through on its promises, so let’s hope they see this one all the way through.