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Envirotech Vehicles Inc. has a different take on electric vehicles, building them in Arkansas for the fleet market and building school buses for a ready market.
With about 32 employees and growing, the California-born company moved to northeast Arkansas in January 2022.
In the third quarter of last year, Nasdaq-traded Envirotech logged its first profit, reporting net income of $126,749, compared with a loss of $850,000 in the third quarter of 2021. The company continues to ramp up manufacturing in Osceola and broaden its customer base.
Executive Vice President Sue Emry cited several reasons to expect Envirotech to thrive in Arkansas, including the proximity of several steel mills in Mississippi County. “You do have a highly skilled workforce in Arkansas, and the plant’s proximity to the Mississippi means there’s a port access right behind us,” Emry told Arkansas Business.
The company sees its niche as a fleet supplier as fairly exclusive for now, and Emry noted that since its vehicles are not retrofitted, it can assure that every vehicle is compliant with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requirements.
Envirotech has worked with the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office and the state Office of Fleet Management in Georgia, supplying an electric prisoner transport van with a range of about 200 miles on a full charge. The company is an approved vendor for New Jersey’s zero emissions program, and customers there have received voucher grants toward buying 43 Envirotech vehicles worth nearly $4 million. Four products now being manufactured and delivered to customers are urban trucks, logistics vans, cutaway vans and right-hand-drive vans. Government incentives for switching to electric school buses offer another road of opportunity.
“We're getting ready to launch our school bus market and already have nearly 300 orders for it from customers across the country, which is perfect timing,” Emry said. “The EPA just rolled out a new Clean School Bus program, designed to help schools bridge the funding gap and transition away from diesel. Through the program, the schools can receive up to 25 electric school buses and charging equipment, potentially at little to no cost.”