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Plans change, but Envision says electric cars won’t be delayed


Iowa’s electric car likely won’t be manufactured in Iowa, but that’s OK, said Envision Motor Co. President Thomas Gleisner.

    Joe Fleming, owner of Drive Tek Iowa Inc. (formerly American Motor Systems Inc.) told the city of Webster City last week that he intended to work with a Caribbean distributor called Island Green Motors to convert Chinese-manufactured sports cars into electric cars. With the move, Drive Tek effectively ended its agreement with Ames-based Envision and Gene Gabus-run Electric Motor Cars of Des Moines, which had planned on the Webster City-based plant to manufacture its electric cars this year.

Fleming could not be reached for comment before the Business Record went to press.“It doesn’t affect our business model in any way, shape or form,” said Envision’s Gleisner. “They have indicated with us that they don’t want to assemble our cars; that’s fine.”

Gleisner stressed that there are other manufacturers in other states that are interested in putting together the cars, but that his company had chosen to partner with Drive Tek so it could “have somebody in our back yard and give back to the community.”

The process of getting the cars ready for sale has faced delays, but Gleisner and Gabus told the Business Record earlier this month that they could be sold within three months. Gleisner acknowledged delays in the engineering process have been frustrating, but said that’s just part of business.

“When you are talking about cutting-edge technology and trying to do something someone else hasn’t done, you’re going to have delays, and you’re going to be behind your schedule,’ he said. “Gene Gabus was able to stomach that. Envision has been able to stomach that.”

As for finding another assembler in Iowa, Gleisner said it wasn’t a necessity, but he would be open to working with another local company.

“We thought Iowa was covered,” he said. “But sure, if other places in Iowa want to give us a shot, that’s something we would definitely listen to. And probably several of the people that have e-mailed when they heard of (Drive Tek backing out) will be contacting us.”

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