Hazelwood, MO will apparently soon be adding hundreds of manufacturing jobs to the region thanks to Emerald Automotive, a recent startup that designs and wants to build electric and diesel powered delivery vans there. Before selecting Hazelwood as their North American manufacturing hub, Emerald Automotive looked at locations in 24 other U.S. states. Some of the reasons for selecting Hazelwood were a skilled and available labor force – a Ford plant once operated in the city – and significant financial incentives.
Specific details on the lightweight delivery van are scarce at the moment, but we do know it will contain a hybrid-electric drivetrain and use an aluminum chassis from Lotus. In a setup similar to a Chevy Volt, the van will run on electric power and have a range extender, possibly a diesel engine. According to Emerald Automotive executive Sharon Heaton, a total range of 475 miles is possible with a diesel, although no mention is made of how big a gas tank they were using. Other possibilities include using a range extender that runs on gas, CNG or biofuels.
With the city of Hazelwood planning on loaning $3 million and the state another $ 2 million, we sincerely hope the company becomes a success and not a repeat of Green Vehicles. A quick video from a local news station is available after the jump.