Reva forms JV to assemble and sell electric cars in US

Bangalore-based electric carmaker Reva Electric Car Company is set to compete with global automakers in the US electric car market by opening an assembly plant in New York to build its latest version of electric car-the NXR, in a joint venture with a local automaker.

Reva has formed a JV with Freeport, New York-based start up electric car company Bannon Automotive, to assemble its three-door plug-in hatchback, the NXR and its sporty two-seater NXG at a suburb in Syracuse.

Bannon Automotive CEO Paul Wimer said at a news conference last week that the company chose Syracuse as the site for the plant over other sites in Kentucky or Michigan and elsewhere because of its proximity to key markets and support given by local Senators like Charles Schumer and David Valesky as well as from the local, state and federal officials.

Reva and Bannon have taken a 150,000-square-foot building in Clay, a Syracuse suburb, which they intend to renovate and convert into an assembly plant.

The New York State and various federal agencies will provide funding for the JV. Reva and Bannon will invest jointly $26.5 million into the plant, while the New York State will give $3 million in Empire State Development Corporation grants and $3.76 million in tax incentives and breaks.

The state Assembly and Senate have also pitched in with $10 million. In addition, Senator Chuck Schumer said he will help Bannon get $52 million in federal loans and loan guarantees from the US Department of Energy and the US Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Agency.

Reva and Bannon hope to get the plant up and running by next year with an initial workforce of 100 that will grow to 250 over three years. Their plan is to produce 15,000 to 20,000 cars annually.