Monday, October 19, 2015

Karma (formerly Fisker) Electric Vehicle Factory Receives California Incentive

(NOTE:  This post was updated on Tuesday, October 20 following action on the Karma application)

Karma Automotive (formerly Fisker) received a $3.2 million tax benefit this week from the state of California for their new manufacturing facility in the Riverside County community of Moreno Valley.

Karma will manufacture plug-in hybrid vehicles at their new facility.  They plan to have 176 permanent full time employees when the plant is in operation.  Construction work is expected to involve 29 workers.  A job fair to attract workers was held earlier this month.

According to their representatives at the hearing on their application, they chose California for manufacturing because it was a "natural choice" based on the California commitment to natural resource protection.  They will be manufacturing a car that will go about 50 miles on an electric charge.  A gasoline engine will allow the car to go an additional 250 miles.

The tax benefit comes from the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (CAEATFA), chaired by state Treasurer John Chiang.  CAEATFA is able to give qualified facilities an exemption from paying state sales and use tax for manufacturing equipment.  Karma is expected spend about $38 million on qualified manufacturing equipment and avoid paying $3.2 million in sales tax on that equipment through the CAEATFA exemption.

The tax benefit was unanimously approved by the CAEATFA five member board, upon a motion from the representative of the State Controller and a second from the representative of the state Director of Finance.  Other members include the Chair of the California Energy Commission, President of the Public Utilities Commission and the state Treasurer.

In addition to the facility itself, Karma plans to install solar photovoltaics in their parking lot and use the power to charge vehicles.

Some background on Fisker/Karma from here and the Los Angeles Times here.

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