First U.S. Unveiling of Emerald’s New Electric Van Occurs in Hazelwood

(Special to the Independent News)

Hazelwood Mayor Matthew Robinson of Hazelwood gives Emerald CEO Andy Tempest a congratulatory hand shake after the U.S. debut of the company’s prototype test van, the t-001, in the City of Hazelwood.

One of two prototype test vans, the t-001, built by Emerald Automotive has finally hit the road in America, making its official U.S. debut in Hazelwood last week A special unveiling ceremony was held for local dignitaries and business leaders in front of The Knobbe House in Hazelwood’s historic Brookes Park where the company has established a presence in the area with a liaison office.

Guest speakers for the program included Thomas R. Voss, board chairman and  president and CEO of Ameren Missouri, Jason Hall, deputy director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, Hazelwood Mayor Matthew Robinson of and Emerald CEO Andy Tempest. Florissant Mayor Tom Schneider also attended. After the vehicle unveiling, guests got a first-hand look at this state-of-the-art alternative energy delivery van.

“We have worked extremely hard over the past three years to develop an all-new, light weight, advanced technology vehicle to serve global fleet operators.  The t-001 will reduce fuel use, cut emissions and save our customers money, without compromising performance,” said Emerald CEO Andy Tempest.  “We announced several months ago that two prototypes had been built and now we are eager to share these vehicles with the public.”

The Emerald vehicle was shipped from the United Kingdom, where it was primarily designed, assembled and tested, to Chicago, Ill., and then transported to Hazelwood by semi-truck.  Since the company plans to establish its North American manufacturing hub in Hazelwood, they decided to make this city the first stop on its U.S. tour.  After spending a few days introducing the vehicle to potential customers and private investors locally, the vehicle traveled to Charlotte, NC, for its official debut at the 2012 Hybrid, Electric and Advanced Truck Users Forum (HTUF) conference. Then it’s on to Chicago for another trade show.

As Emerald’s flagship vehicle, the t-001 is an all-new lightweight, extended-range hybrid electric delivery van.  Designed to go 66 miles on a fully-charged battery, then shift to a combustion engine which powers the battery, the Emerald fleet  van can go up to 475 miles (764.44 km) on a single tank of gas.  It also reduces emissions by 80% with a payload of 3,000 lbs., all without compromise on performance.

The company intends to build its manufacturing facility in Hazelwood and start production sometime in the fourth quarter of 2014.  The goal is to start making 10,000 vehicles per year with a workforce of approximately 550 skilled workers.  Three potential sites in Hazelwood are under consideration for the Emerald factory, and Tempest says he plans to announce the selected site in the next two or three months.

Individuals can submit their resumes online for available employment opportunities at www.emeraldautomotive.com by clicking the “Career” tab on the top navigation bar.  Emerald is currently raising capital through private investors to finance the building of the assembly plant.



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