Electric Vehicle Maker Envirotech Plans Manufacturing Center in Arkansas


Electric Vehicle Maker Envirotech Plans Manufacturing Center in Arkansas
Envirotech CEO Phillip Oldridge (Envirotech)

Update, Feb. 22, 2022: Envirotech says it will open a facility in Osceola that hire 800 workers.

Electric vehicle maker Envirotech Vehicles Inc. of Corona, California, announced Thursday that it plans to open its first U.S.-based, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Arkansas.

The company will also move its headquarters to Arkansas. Envirotech said it has entered into a purchase agreement for a facility and expects to begin operations during the first quarter of this year. Envirotech did not disclose the location of the facility, but an offer letter to the company's new CFO says he will be expected to work at its office in Osceola. The letter, first reported by the Arkansas Times, was included in an 8-K form that Envirotech filed Feb. 8 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A formal announcement with more details is planned for Tuesday. 

CEO Phillip Oldridge said in a news release that a longstanding goal of the company has been to manufacture its vehicles in the U.S.

“Not only does Arkansas provide us with a robust business climate and highly capable workforce, but the facility’s proximity to all forms of transportation is also well-suited for the efficient transport of our electric trucks and vans,” he said.

The company touts a customer-ready product line of vehicles, systems and green technology that serves last-mile fleets, school districts, public and private transportation service companies and colleges and universities. Its products include electric urban trucks, electric logistics vans and electric cutaway vans.

State Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston said the state's "continued focus on reducing the tax burden" for businesses helped attract Envirotech. 

"Electric vehicle demand will only continue to grow and I’m delighted that Arkansas is continuing to gain a foothold in the market," he said in the release.

Envirotech is publicly traded on the OTCQX, the top tier of the three marketplaces for over-the-counter stocks. Sales for its most recent quarter, the third quarter of last year, totaled $709,000. The company sold eight vehicles during the quarter but recorded no sales for the same quarter of 2020. In addition, Envirotech widened its quarterly net loss to $850,000 from $71,000 in the third quarter of 2020.

The company is the second electric vehicle maker with plans to set up shop in Arkansas. In November, Canoo Inc. announced it would move its headquarters to northwest Arkansas and employ 500 people in Benton and Washington counties. Canoo CEO Tony Aquila said he was drawn to the region by its "ecosystem of innovation, infrastructure and education excellence."

State officials have said the growing steel industry in northeast Arkansas is another lure for automakers.

This is also not Envirotech's first dealings in Arkansas. In November, the company announced that it had delivered one van and one truck to Shine Solar LLC of Rogers. Envirotech also entered into a factory authorized representative agreement with Shine Solar in August; that agreement allowed Shine Solar to promote, sell and service Envirotech products throughout the country.