CASA GRANDE — Another electric vehicle company was scouting for locations for a factory and technical center in Arizona last week and Casa Grande was on its list of spots to check out.
Electra Meccanica, a Vancouver, Canada-based electric vehicle company, is checking out possible factory locations in seven states: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, according to a press release from the company.
The company makes the electric Tofino sports car, an electric two-seater eRoadster and is working on a single-seat, three-wheeled electric commuter vehicle called the Solo. The company has a 60-year history of building high-end custom cars and started work on electric cars in 2012.
The new factory would work with the company’s manufacturing partner, Zongshen Industrial Group in Chongqing, China. The U.S. factory would employ about 200 people and have an engineering technical center.
“It’s an extremely exciting project. It’s going to be a game changer,” said Tom Stringer, from BDO USA in New York City, referring to the Solo. Stringer is representing the company in its search for a location for a new factory in the U.S. He is familiar with Arizona and helped bring Nikola Corp. to find its planned location in Coolidge.
He confirmed that Electra Meccanica was in Arizona last week to look at several locations in the Valley and in Casa Grande for a possible site.
However, this is just the start of the site selection process, he said. No decisions have been made. The company is looking at several other locations across the country. It hopes to have a site under its control by the end of the year.
Lucid Motors is currently building a manufacturing plant in Casa Grande that is expected to create 2,000 jobs and $6.2 million in new taxes for the city. The company plans to manufacture at the plant this year and eventually reach 130,000 vehicles a year.
Electra Meccanica is looking at Arizona and Casa Grande for a number of reasons, Stringer said. The state has a good line of success stories when it comes to electric vehicle manufacturers and other industries. Arizona also has a workforce with the necessary skills, the infrastructure, the supply chain and the land ownership.
The state has “got a strong product,” Stringer said. But there are other sites out there that are equally as good, he said.