Governor Linda Lingle and CT &T CEO Young Gi Lee signed a “memorandum of understanding” (MOU) in which the State of Hawaii will support the Korean firm’s plans to build an electric vehicle assembly plant somewhere on Oahu. CT & T is a South Korean firm that builds several models of electric vehicles designed for personal and fleet use.
The company’s proposed plant will employ up to 400 people and build about 10,000 2-seater electric vehicles per year. The location for the manufacturing facility was not disclosed at today’s press conference, but will be built somewhere on Oahu.
The vehicles are all electric and are about the size of large golf carts. They are designed for light industrial, government and commercial use as well as for personal transportation. They come in two distinct model classes, the more car-like and upscale eZone and the utilitarian cZone. Each vehicle can be configured for different types of uses. The models on display at the State Capitol included a police cruiser (for use in parking patrol), a personal transport, lunch wagon, utility car, plate lunch truck and pick-up truck.
Cost range from about $8000 to $20,000 per vehicle depending on model and options. The cZone models are able to reach speeds of up to 25 mph. The eZone can reach speeds of up to 60 mph.
It remains to be seen whether or not these small electric cars will be successful in the Hawaii market. A handful of firms have sold or are selling electric cars. Most recently Nissan announced that the Nissan Leaf will be available for sale in Hawaii starting next year.
Governor Lingle talks about the CT & T assembly plant proposal.