The South Bronx looks set to become New York’s newest–and greenest–truck stop after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the building of an electric vehicle factory near Hunts Point, while offering $10 million in subsidies to employers who buy them.
Smith Electric Vehicles, a British zero-emission electric commercial vehicle manufacturer bought out by its American subsidiary in January, will lease the 90,000-square foot former Murray Feiss building near the Hunts Point food distribution center. The company intends to create over 100 new jobs making its Newton line of trucks, starting in 2012.
“Creating over 100 new jobs in the South Bronx is a victory for the local community and a clear sign that New York is rapidly attracting innovative opportunities to grow our economy,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement.
The city beat out several other proposed locations partly thanks to over $6 million in state tax breaks including $3.4 million from Empire State Evelopment, $1.5 million from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and $1.7 million from the New York City Industrial Development Agency. Smith, which filed for a $125 million IPO last week, already supplies clients like Coca-Cola, Frito-Lay, Staples, and the Marines with zero-emission electric trucks.
Under the state’s subsidy plan, purchasers will get up to $20,000 off the cost of each vehicle. The governor’s office estimates that’ll save the city 11,700 tons of greenhouse gases and 1 million gallons of diesel fuel in the first year.
At 12.1 percent, the Bronx has the worst unemployment rate in New York State. There’s no word yet on whether Smith will hire locally, though CEO Bryan Hansel told the Daily News the company has done so at its Kansas City, MO headquarters.