EVI - Electric Vehicles International announced that the Energy Commission committed to invest $1.153 million from the State’s Advanced Vehicle Technology Program to develop and demonstrate EVI’s Range-Extended Medium-Duty Electric Pickup Truck. Additionally, the State recently invested $494,000 from the California Employment Training Panel's AB 118 program
Unfortunately the state money appears to be EVI's only revenue. An event in 2009 featured Gov Schwarzenegger and the exciting announcement that EVI was relocating back from Mexico to Stockton. The release promised that 150 direct green jobs would be created in 2010.
Unfortunately, this has not come to pass. According to this document Web Link from a ETP employment training panel proposal from this month (begging for more state money), EVI discloses that the company only employs 20 people, and states that their GOAL is now to "hire upward of 100 new workers within the next two years".
The same proposal also states "trainees in this proposal work in a High Unemployment Area (HUA). This is a region with unemployment exceeding the state average by at least 25%, which is now a fact, Stockton's legacy of Jerry McNerney's NUMMI fiasco, because Jerry McNerney appears only to support green technology.
If it involves supporting actual people employed by old line dirty technology companies, Jerry McNerney will only write letters to complain once the jobs are already lost, as happened when President Obama pulled GM out of NUMMI and Toyota subsequently pulled out of their half of the deal.
Of course, we also learned from PW that EVI has complained to Jerry McNerney about unfair competition in even getting the manufacturing of these vehicles off the ground Web Link
"Steve Riley, vice president of sales and marketing for Electric Vehicles International, a Stockton company, has been complaining to McNerney and others abut unfair competition from abroad."
So what does Jerry McNerney do? He proposes protectionist legislation to help his pet project in Stockton, EVI, who have a sparkling record of sucking up millions in government grants and creating 20 jobs.
Kudos to Rep Jerry McNerney, at this rate, protectionist legislation and green technology jobs will replace those lost NUMMI jobs in approximately 50-60 years and EVI will be able to sell their $180,000 truck that cannot even travel freeway speed!
It might take that long, according to this story Web Link , EVI promised production of the MD EVI will start in late 2009 and first deliveries to customers are expected in the first quarter of 2010. Looks like we missed that target as well.