Electric Car Company Runs Out Of Juice

Integrity Manufacturing, which pledged to hire up to 4,000 workers if allowed to build an electric car plant in Kentucky with the help of hefty tax incentives, has shut down.

SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- A company that pledged to hire up to 4,000 workers if it was allowed to build an electric car plant in the state has shut down, according to its accountant.

"They ran out of money," Ken Sach, who identified himself as an accountant for Integrity Manufacturing, told The Courier-Journal on Thursday. "I am cleaning out my desk. They have closed their doors."

Sach said the company at one time last year employed 200 workers. He declined to comment further.

On Thursday, the one-story factory near Interstate 65 in Bullitt County was locked and the parking lot was nearly deserted.

Last summer, Integrity announced plans to build a plant in Franklin in Simpson County, with the help of hefty tax incentives.

The company had persuaded the state to amend traffic laws to allow the three-wheeled, low-speed ZAP electric vehicles on state roads.

As those plans fell apart last fall amid failure to attract $125 million in private bond financing, Integrity Manufacturing officials pledged to build the ZAP vehicles instead in Shepherdsville. As recently as last month, Integrity trumpeted plans to sponsor Louisville's 2009 Great Steamboat Race -- an annual event held during pre-Kentucky Derby festivities -- in partnership with ZAP, the Santa Rosa, Calif.-based electric car company.

But a ZAP spokesman Thursday disavowed any connection with the steamboat race and declined to comment on the closure of Integrity Manufacturing.

"I keep seeing news of all our activities in Kentucky that we know nothing about," ZAP spokesman Alex Campbell said by telephone of published reports that that Integrity Automotive, Integrity Manufacturing and ZAP would sponsor the annual event.

Campbell declined to comment on the future of ZAP manufacturing in Kentucky.

"There is so much that has happened, I am not sure what is going on," Campbell said. "We have our existing business to run."

Randall S. Waldman, chief executive officer and owner of Integrity Manufacturing, could not be immediately reached for comment. Matt Hudzik, chief operating officer for the company, also could not be reached.

Waldman resigned as a member of the board of directors of ZAP, according to a filing Wednesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The filing also declared that Waldman "has sold his interest in Integrity Automotive, LLC, now called ZAP Motor Manufacturing Inc."

Also Thursday, a new firm, ZAP Motor Manufacturing of Kentucky Inc., filed incorporation papers with the Kentucky Secretary of State, state records show. ZAP Motor Manufacturing is located in Prospect, according to state records.

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