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Charleston, West Virginia, January 12, 2022 – GreenPower Motor Company Inc. (NASDAQ: GP) (TSXV: GPV) (“GreenPower”), a leading manufacturer and distributor of zero-emission, electric-powered medium and heavy-duty vehicles. For today they joined Governor Jim Justice. That’s in announcing that it has entered into a lease/purchase agreement. That’s for a manufacturing facility in South Charleston, West Virginia. All for the purpose of manufacturing zero-emission, all-electric school buses.
As part of the agreement, the state of West Virginia has committed to purchase its products. So can you say up to a minimum of $15 million! A purchase order for only GreenPower vehicles. All are produced at the facility.
I have learned it’s totaling 9.5 acres and an 80,000 square foot building. The terms of the lease require no cash upfront. Also, monthly lease payments begin nine months after production begins. All lease payments will be applied in full to the purchase of the property. GreenPower plans to begin manufacturing zero-emission, all-electric school buses in the facility. Estimated by the second half of 2022. The state will provide up to $3.5 million in employment incentive payments to GreenPower. That’s for jobs created in the State. Especially as production increases over time. The title to the properties will be transferred to GreenPower. For that’s once total lease and incentive payments reach $6.7 million.
In addition, GreenPower’s BEAST (Battery Electric Automotive School Transportation), is an all-electric 40-foot Type D battery-electric school bus. Thereby delivering a class-leading range. I mean can you say up to 150 miles. All on a single charge via a 194kWh battery pack.
The bus can also seat up to 90 passengers. All most noteworthy with standard features. Those include air ride suspension. As well as ABS disk brakes and also pass-through storage. This bus is also featuring a modern monocoque chassis. The BEAST is the safest electric bus. Most importantly the most durable and reliable. For a battery-electric school bus. I mean that’s available on the market. The BEAST’s seamlessly integrated body and chassis design. For they form a composite structure. One is the GreenPower Truss(T) factor.
In addition, GreenPower is announcing its zero-emission, all-electric school bus manufacturing operations. For they are expanding east of the Mississippi River. All within West Virginia.
“They are becoming our school bus manufacturing base of operations for the region,” Brendan Riley, President of GreenPower, said today at a press conference with state and local officials. “The state has also agreed to facilitate the purchase of a minimum of $15 million. All in zero-emission GreenPower school buses. All are produced most importantly at the facility. West Virginia has shown us that it is a pro-business state. One that has a workforce ready to take advantage of clean energy jobs.”
“As West Virginia’s economy expands and diversifies, it is important to provide skilled and high-skilled jobs to West Virginia workers for a 21st-century economy,” Riley continued. “Our facility will provide both training and immediate employment opportunities with a competitive wage.”
“I would like to be the first to welcome GreenPower to West Virginia with open arms. We’re thrilled that you’ve chosen to live and work in the paradise that our state offers,” said West Virginia Governor Jim Justice. “West Virginia continues to be the best place to do business. I’m excited to help support GreenPower. Especially on this important project. Finally and for what the future holds. All for their great company and our great state.”
“Under my administration, we’ve really focused on transforming West Virginia’s image. One of the ways we’re doing that is by embracing all the new technologies. Technologies that are at our fingertips and GreenPower. So setting up shop in West Virginia is yet another exciting project. One that will help us move our state forward,” Governor Justice continued. “We continue to diversify our economy. Therefore manufacturing these zero-emission school buses in West Virginia will open up a world of opportunities for our state. Just as importantly, this development is going to change lives. Not only will it bring hundreds of great paying jobs to the Kanawha Valley. Yet the ripple effects on our state’s economy are going to be off-the-charts.”
Mitch Carmichael, Secretary of Economic Development in West Virginia, expressed his enthusiasm and support. All for GreenPower’s decision to locate their new manufacturing facility in the heart of West Virginia. Said Carmichael, “West Virginia is also ideally positioned to lead the nation. Especially in transitioning to the electrification of the transportation network. Also, for battery research and development. Finally and for environmentally sustainable vehicles. We look forward to a great partnership with GreenPower as they are welcomed to our state as a respected corporate citizen”.
“West Virginia has worked diligently to position our state. Most importantly as the ideal place to locate a new or expanding business. Our accomplishments are delivering great results. Especially as evidenced by the selection of West Virginia by GreenPower Motor Company. For this is an innovative company. Most importantly in the expanding technology of battery-powered vehicles. We are excited to welcome GreenPower as a new corporate citizen in our state,” said West Virginia Senate President Craig Blair.
South Charleston Mayor Frank Mullens said that the city was thrilled to have GreenPower join its business community. “We are in a period of prosperity and growth. So this manufacturing plant is located in South Charleston. For this is one more feather in our cap,” he stated. “Most importantly to the city’s future is the kind of company GreenPower is. This is also a 2022 and beyond the company. Most noteworthy with a sustainable product for the long run.”
“Children are more susceptible to air pollution than healthy adults. That’s because their respiratory systems are still developing and they have faster breathing rates,” Riley said. He cited studies by the Natural Resources Defense Council. All of which have estimated that school bus diesel fumes expose children. That’s as much as 46 times the cancer risk. Most importantly it’s considered significant under federal law.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, exposure to NOx exhaust can trigger health problems. For that’s asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory issues. The primary source of NOx is motor vehicles. Especially including school buses. Diesel exhaust is also designated “carcinogenic to humans”. For that’s by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
“The majority of school buses have a significant flaw as they expel tons of toxins into the air releasing harmful substances, including hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and other hazardous pollutants that adversely affect children’s health and academic performance,” Riley concluded. “Compounding the concern is the results of recent studies showing that air pollutant levels inside school buses can be greater than the ambient levels outside the bus.”
“The first purpose-built, all-electric school buses that are produced in South Charleston will directly benefit the health and well-being of the families in West Virginia,” Riley said. “This investment represents a unique opportunity for West Virginia. For that’s to improve the long-term health, development and also the academic performance of school-aged children. All the while combating pollution and reducing carbon emissions. In conclusion, the $15 million investment by West Virginia will leverage funds from other incentive programs. Finally to substantially increase the number of GreenPower school buses. All on the roads in West Virginia.”
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