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GreenTech Automotive launches tiny electric car with help of Bill Clinton and Haley Barbour

Electric car manufacturing GreenTech Automotive launched, today, its two seater electric car, with top political players like Pres. Bill Clinton, former DNC Chair Terry McAullife, and former RNC Chair Haley Barbour on hand to lend support.


Startup automotive manufacturer, GreenTech Automotive, today launched its first product, the MyCar, a small two-seater electric car. The car brings with it a complex story of global automotive manufacturing, that is claimed will create thousands of American jobs, but along the way the company is building a gigantic factory in China. The American side of the company bought a Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer, moving the whole company to America, with a business plan constructed by senior Democratic Party political leaders, full of political talking points, that sounds like a political debate rather than normal business-as-usual in the age of globalism.

GreenTech Automotive is a politically connected company, founded by former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe, and counts President Bill Clinton in some kind of advisory role. Today's ceremony to launch the MyCar was attended not just by Bill Clinton, and of course Terry McAuliffe, Chairman of Green Tech Automotive, and also former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour who is also former Chair of the Republican National Committee. Whatever the value of the products the company looks to manufacture, it is well-enough connected to tap on high stakes political clout. McAuliffe founded the company in 2006, and since his failed gubernatorial campaign in Virginia turned his full attention to GreenTech Automotive. The company bought Hong Kong-based EuAuto in 2010, moving operations and manufacturing to the United States. In part the strategy is to "have a positive impact on a local economy in need of revitalization." The company is leasing a small factory in Horn Lake, MS, where they are making a small manufacturing run of the electric MyCar NEV. At the same time they are building a 300,000-square-foot facility in Tunica, Miss. and an even larger 1.5 million square foot factory in China. Supposedly the company's plans will it will create 426 direct jobs by 2014, and would create more than 7,400 direct, indirect and induced jobs by 2014.

“Thanks are due to Governor Barbour for being so receptive to our strategy to create manufacturing jobs in the United States,” said McAuliffe. “This unlikely partnership illustrates the kind of jobs-before-politics attitude that will get America back on track by restoring manufacturing to its rightful place at the core of our economy. We’re looking forward to continuing that relationship with Governor Bryant’s new administration.” McAuliffe previously served as the chairman of the Democratic National Committee; Barbour served as chairman of the Republican National Committee.

A tag-line on the corporate website reads "No green technology is truly green until it is Affordably Green." In light of luxury electric cars like the Tesla Model S, we can certainly appreciate that attitude. However the pragmatist recognizes that while the MyCar has an affordable expected base price of $15,500, it is also a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV), a class of electric vehicle which straight-up does injustice to the whole concept of electric vehicles, and only serves to reinforce negative stereotypes. In the current state of electric vehicle manufacturing and sales, it's pragmatic reality that the cost of the battery pack required to support a 300 mile driving range, at highway speed, means an outrageous vehicle base price that forces the manufacturer into the luxury market.

The MyCar is an all electric vehicle, hence has zero tailpipe emissions, and the model built for sales in the European Union will offer a 45 miles/hr top speed. Due to regulations in America, the top speed will be limited to 25 miles/hr putting the MyCar into the NEV class. NEV's have a large number of limitations not just in a measly 25 miles/hr top speed, but also where they can drive. Unlike many NEV's, the MyCar looks like a regular car, specifically drawing on the Smart ForTwo, the Scion iQ, and the Fiat 500 for design cues. This makes it a tiny two-seater car that will fit very well in a crowded urban setting where parking might be tight.

The company claims driving range will be 115 miles, at 25 miles/hr, and the car can be recharged from either regular 120 volt or 220 volt electrical outlets, and presumably it has a J1772 port on board. Charging time is said to range between 3 and 12 hours depending on what sort of power outlet is used to recharge the car.

The company describes the MyCar as "an ideal solution for corporations, government entities, rental car fleets, and corporate and college campuses". In 2013 the company expects to launch a "micro pick-up and delivery vehicle", and in 2014 a larger MyCar EV. The company promises to manufacture, in the future, fully NHTSA- and EPA-certified, full-speed, all-road vehicles. The NEV is said to be just a starting point. In the meantime they have inked a deal with Dominos Pizza to deploy the MyCar's as delivery vehicles near Ole Miss University. Domino's has experimented with small electric vehicles for Pizza delivery in the past.

How will having manufacturing in China create jobs in America? Is this just a bit of political flimflam? McAuliffe did a number of video's over the last couple years, linked off the corporate website, that explain the strategy.

First, China is the largest automotive market in the world at the market, with Chinese buying more cars than any other country ever. Because of the import tarrifs imposed by the Chinese government on any imports into China, it is beneficial for any company looking to sell a product in China, to set up manufacturing in China. That explains the massive factory in China.

Second, the MyCar's assembled in China will use drive train components manufactured in America. The corporate website does not list the sources of those components, but there are several manufacturers of battery pack, battery management, electric motors, electric vehicle controllers, and the like in America. At the same time there are many times more manufacturers of those components in China.

Third, the company's facility in Tunica, Miss will be manufacturing the MyCar's for sale in the U.S.

What we have is a start-up company led by people with top level political connections in the U.S. They're pushing a line of building jobs in America, while at the same time building jobs in China. The choice to start with manufacturing an NEV is not new to this company, several other companies got started with NEV manufacturing while promising future highway-capable electric cars. Wheego and ZENN are two companies that come to mind. Where GreenTech Automotive differs is the depth of funding the company appears to have, as well as the top-level political connections, and how the company is exploiting those two things to generate attention.


Anonymous (not verified)    July 6, 2012 - 11:50PM

Any plan to promote the use of EVs is on the right path.

No vehicle is going to appeal to everyone, these will likely find their niche in large cities, and among the young, who are just starting out, and need to comute to work with daily errands.

Parents could provide them for kids to get to school and back, and relatively, stay out of trouble.

Aaron Turpen    July 7, 2012 - 6:44AM

Given that the guy in charge of this company used to sell nights in the Lincoln Bedroom to the highest "contributor".. he's probably got mad fundraising skillz.

This company was actually started back in 2009 by the former CEO of Brilliance, who started that EB-5 visa scam as a "fundraiser" for the idea. They were originally going to build hybrids in China, ship them here, and assemble them in Mississippi for sale. Back then, they were promoting a 5-door compact supposedly (but never tested/proven) capable of 45mpg with the two-door getting 65mpg. They had an electric that could supposedly go 80 miles on a 3-hour wall charge too.

Back then, they got some publicity, probably gained a few investors, and then disappeared. I guess they're back and under new (not wanted by the law) management. :)

Frank J Perruccio (not verified)    July 7, 2012 - 12:08PM

In reply to by Aaron Turpen

Interesting, well let's hope that this time around it gets to production and at least works as presented.

I get the deals made to produce in China. That's too big a market to ignore for a startupn the government has a more focused commitment to EV adoption with less resistance from within. The Chinese consumer might also be more likely to buy it initiallly.

lee colleton (not verified)    July 9, 2012 - 6:06AM

It is untrue that EVs like the Leaf or MiEV are "luxury vehicles" due to their base price. They will eventually save their owners money after a few years of saving money on gas. /drivers-seat/why-plug-vehicles-are-so-inexpensive

Aaron Turpen    July 9, 2012 - 10:56AM

In reply to by lee colleton (not verified)

News flash: in the automotive market, if your car's price point is above $35,000, it's a "luxury" vehicle. Doesn't matter what the eventual return on investment may or may not be. Most consumers look at up-front price, not whether or not the vehicle will save them money 3, 4, or 5 years from now. Those are just market realities.

Lee Colleton (not verified)    July 9, 2012 - 3:01PM

In reply to by Aaron Turpen

The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is priced around $30k and has been for some time. I purchased mine a few months ago at this price and without paying any sales tax in Washington state which was about $2850 saved right there. I'll see another $7,500 rebate the next time I file my taxes.

Yes, auto-buyers can be amazingly short-sighted and lack basic numeracy. The latter is depressingly common among our population.

lee colleton (not verified)    July 9, 2012 - 6:08AM

It is untrue that EVs like the Leaf or MiEV are "luxury vehicles" due to their base price. They will eventually save their owners money after a few years of saving money on fuel and maintenance costs.