EV Revolution Grows as Startup Envirotech Begins U.S. Operations

The electric vehicle revolution is continuing to spread its wings in the South as a startup Envirotech Vehicles opened its new plant for building EVs in Arkansas. 

Envirotech electric commercial van
Envirotech Vehicles produced its first electric vehicle — an electric cargo van — at its new U.S.-based manufacturing facility in Arkansas.

Envirotech Vehicles, which plans to build zero-emission, purpose-built EVs, produced its first electric vehicle Thursday — an electric cargo van — at its new U.S.-based manufacturing facility in Osceola, Arkansas, not far from Memphis, Tennessee. 

The new plant is near where Ford Motor Co. is planning to locate its Blue Oval electric truck and battery plants, although they’re across the border, near Stanton, Tennessee to the east of Memphis. 

Phillip Oldridge, Envirotech Vehicles CEO said, “As the only auto manufacturer in the state, we are honored to be leaders in the future of Arkansas’s transportation industry.  

“Our facility will not only do great things for our company but also the local economy in Mississippi County and surrounding areas as we provide more jobs and more revenue generation for the state.” 

First of the new offerings

Envirotech CEO Phillip Oldridge Day 1
Envirotech CEO Phillip Oldridge believes the company could eventually produce 10,000 vehicles annually.

During the event, the company marked the final assembly of 68 vehicles, including 10 right-hand drive vehicles, which will to ship to customers all across the country, from New Jersey to Utah. The company projects once the plant is at full capacity, it’ll build 10,000 vehicles annual.

Envirotech Vehicles provides electric vehicles focused on reducing the total cost of vehicle ownership and helping fleet operators unlock the benefits of green technology.  

The company’s business plan calls for focusing on commercial and last-mile fleets, school districts, public and private transportation service companies and colleges and universities to meet the increasing demand for heavy-duty electric vehicles, while addressing the challenges of fuel price cost instability and regulatory compliance. 

Company grew out of earlier failures 

Envirotech is a successor to a company called Adomani, which enjoyed a moment in the spotlight after it went public in June 2017. The IPO was priced at $5 a share, and within a month the stock topped $17 a share. A year later, the share price hovered around $1 and it hasn’t recovered since that time.  

Adomani touted its zero-emission electric and hybrid drivetrains for new vehicles and for use in existing vehicles. The initial target market was school buses and medium- to heavy-duty commercial fleet vehicles.  

Envirotech Vehicles cargo truck
The company also produces an all-electric box truck.

However, Adomani, according to the Envirotech website, didn’t have its own technology or manufacturing capabilities but instead sold drivetrains manufactured by a third-party company.  

The contract with the supplier was terminated when Cummins, an Indiana-based maker of engines, purchased the supplier, resulting in the sales contract with bus manufacturer Blue Bird Corp. being terminated. 

Birth of a new company

Oldridge founded GreenPower Motor Co., building electric drivetrains, and vehicles to boot. Both had extensive backgrounds in the transportation industry prior to GreenPower with many years of both technical and business expertise. 

As Adomani headed toward bankruptcy, Oldridge was introduced to the company through mutual contacts and he was eventually appointed CEO in September 2020, paring the staff down and fixing the company’s finances while raising money for a new company. 

In March 2021 Adomani merged with Envirotech Drive Systems and earlier this year moved from California to Arkansas.

Source: The Detroit Bureau Read More