All-electric cars soon to hit Iowa roadways

Chelsea Davis

All-electric cars are in Iowa’s near future.

A pair of Iowa auto manufacturing companies are teaming up to produce a line of all-electric vehicles for late fall.

EnVision Motor Co., along with the new AMS Inc. division of Eagle Manufacturing in Webster City, are joining forces to create a line of three all-electric vehicles: a pickup, a station wagon and a cargo van.

“There’s an opportunity there,” said Thomas Ellis, associate professor of environmental engineering.  “It’s particularly advantageous for urban air quality.”

Ellis said even Des Moines goes through periods where it is below air quality standards.  

“It makes a lot of sense,” Ellis said. “We can eliminate the mobile source and position power plants away from urban centers.”

Webster City was hit with the loss of 850 jobs when Electrolux, a producer of household appliances, announced it was moving to Juarez, Mexico in 2011.

“They have been gradually laying people off,” said David Toyer, consultant to the city on economic development. “Conditions are right to have great success economically.”

AMS Inc. will begin production very shortly, in 60 to 90 days, Toyer said.

“We are continuing to work on our economic development initiative,” Toyer said. “We hope this will be the first step to many other opportunities.”

The new manufacturing plant will create 50 jobs initially and as long as production and sales go well, it could create 300 or more jobs later on.