GreenTech Automotive launched its MyCar line in Horn Lake July 6.
It marked the company’s first production run since its arrival in Mississippi. Charles Wang, CEO of Virginia-based GTA, said at an October 2009 ceremony in Tunica that his company would build a massive facility there that would produce gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles. Production capacity numbers – 150,000 vehicles annually just in the plant’s first phase – Wang cited then would eventually have exceeded those of the Nissan plant in Canton.
A lot has happened since then.
Notably, the Tunica facility’s size, cost and production capacity have been lowered, though a company spokesperson wouldn’t confirm last week exactly where those metrics currently stand.
And, in May 2010, GTA took the first step on the journey to next month’s launch of the MyCar. That’s when GTA acquired Hong Kong-based EuAuto, which specialized in the design and build of neighborhood electric vehicles.
In Horn Lake, GTA is building the MyCar in the old Dover Elevator building. The two-seater MyCar is about the size of a golf cart, and runs entirely on electric power. It can be charged, GTA says, on a regular, 110-volt electrical outlet. The cost of operating the cars, according to GTA figures, is about 2 cents per mile.
Neighborhood electric vehicles like the MyCar are best for low-speed urban driving, making them ideal for zooming around places like gated enclaves, beach communities and university campuses. They are popular in Europe. They aren’t yet street legal in the U.S. That’s one of the main reasons why many of the first MyCars produced in Horn Lake will be sold overseas, although GreenTech has agreed with Domino’s for the pizza company to place the cars in its fleet.
In September 2011, GTA came to an agreement with Greenabout in which the Danish company would purchase what GTA called a “sizeable percentage” of MyCar production through 2014.
GreenTech eventually plans facilities in Tennessee and Virginia to go with those in Mississippi. The company’s originally planned site in Tunica is still a go, said Lyn Arnold, president and CEO of the Tunica County Chamber of Commerce.
“They’re working out there every single day,” Arnold said over the summer.
“They’re getting close to the end. Their goal would be to start production by the end of the third quarter of 2013.”
Original plans, unveiled at the October 2009 event, called for a midsize sedan and a sports car to be made in Tunica. Those options are still on the table, but nothing is final, GTA says.