He made the announcement at Carnegie Mellon University, which is working to develop new technologies that can be used in electric vehicles, such as lithium batteries, fuel cells, electric motors for improved efficiency and output, and fast electric charging stations that can recharge a battery in minutes as opposed to 2 hours.
"This is a win-win-win for the commonwealth," Governor Rendell said. "With consumers opting for more fuel efficient vehicles and automobile manufacturers working to meet new fuel economy standards, electric vehicles represent a growing market opportunity. It’s no secret that many of the world’s large automotive manufacturers are developing plug-in electric vehicles, so the fact that CT&T has chosen Pennsylvania is very exciting news for us, because it gives us an early presence in a promising market."
CT&T makes low- and mid-speed, short-distance "neighborhood electric vehicles" that pass crash tests required for regular passenger cars. The vehicles sell for about $12,000.
"There are other benefits to having a company like CT&T choose Pennsylvania," Governor Rendell added. "CT&T’s electric vehicles will create new employment opportunities and spur the need for new investments in our economy that will upgrade our infrastructure and develop exciting new technologies."
As the demand for electric vehicles grows, the Governor said, companies and universities like CMU will be called upon to develop more efficient and economical batteries, while the nation’s electrical infrastructure will need to be upgraded to accommodate vehicles in need of a recharge.
The Governor noted that the company’s interest in Pennsylvania resulted from the state’s presence in Seoul, South Korea, which was part of his World Trade PA initiative. He also said that the Governor’s Action Team is working to establish a business assistance package that will help finalize the company’s move to Pennsylvania.
"We are looking forward to becoming a contributing part of Pennsylvania’s bold moves to become a leader in green transportation and the creation of green technology jobs," said CT&T President Young Gi Lee. "Our plans are to locate the first regional assembly and sales facility in the northeast — in Pennsylvania. We feel our efforts here will be a showcase for other states and municipalities throughout the United States."
The company is focusing on sites on the Delaware River in Philadelphia for its initial Pennsylvania location.
Company executives visited five prospective sites in the Pittsburgh region yesterday, including two within the city. While in Pittsburgh, CT&T executives also met with experts in battery and fuel technology from Carnegie Mellon University, which is engaged in a range of research initiatives to support the growth and development of electric vehicle technology.
CT&T could open a third assembly and sales facility elsewhere in the state at a future date.
Lee said the company’s long-term business plan calls for 40 regional assembly and sales systems in North America.
CT&T has been exporting to China, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, and the United States since 2005. The company says cities with large municipal fleets offer a considerable initial market opportunity, with the electric car as a low-cost option for parking authorities, parks and recreation departments, and similar agencies with short-distance, low-speed vehicle needs. CT&T has a contract to supply 4,000 neighborhood electric vehicles to California police organizations, which will use them as downtown parking supervision vehicles.