ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – As you’ve heard on KMOX, state and local officials have promised millions to a British company planning to build low-emission vans in Hazelwood. Today KMOX investigates who’s backing those dollars in Britain.
The UK’s Emerald Automotive seemed to come out of nowhere with promises of hundreds of jobs for autoworkers in our region.
KMOX News has learned the newly-formed firm was launched with more than two million dollars in seed money from another British company that’s seen far more press coverage — Intelligent Energy.
“Always recognizing that they would be the early-stage funders which is the much higher risk funding, and then effectively we would bring in other third party monies.”
Emerald CEO and Intelligent Energy consultant Andy Tempest.
Intelligent Energy has gained attention in England for development of a hydrogen powered motorbike and prototype fuel cell-powered taxis being tested in London.
So how much cash is stake for Tempest? “More blood than money,” Tempest laughs.
Emerald is also benefiting from a multi-million dollar British technology development grant. While original plans called for a factory in the UK, the agency providing the funding tells KMOX it has no issue with Emerald locating in the US.
Another questions, if they’re hoping to sell their first low-emission delivery vans to England, why’s Emerald building an assembly plant here?
“It just happens to be in the short term there’s a very high demand within Europe for this type of vehicle because of the fuel costs at 10-dollars plus a gallon, but we actually see the longer term, the bigger market is the US,” explains Tempest.
Tempest tells KMOX Missouri had the right combination of trained labor, logistics, suppliers, affordable property and incentives that make it worthwhile to settle in the states.
Click below to listen to a portion of Megan Lynch’s interview with Emerald CEO Andy Tempest
No “Royal” Deal Yet for Hazelwood/Emerald Automotive
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