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Mississippi auditor releases report on Greentech Automotive investigation

LOW SPEED: A Greentech Automotive MyCar cruises the streets of Tunica. The Mycar was only capable of 25 mph. Photo by Greentech Automotive

Mississippi state auditor Stacey Pickering’s office released its investigative report July 12 on Greentech Automotive, which built a now-closed plant using state and local funds in Tunica.

The report reveals that the company never met its job creation goals by the deadlines set by the Mississippi Development Authority, which gave the company a $3 million loan in September 2011. The automaker was supposed to create 350 jobs in Tunica, but only created 143 by the December 2014 deadline. After layoffs, the plant only employed 10 as of February 28.

The auditor’s office also said Greentech — which was supposed to build 30,000 electric cars per year at its Tunica plant — refused to hand over some documents and the office was forced to use its subpoena power to obtain them.

The report also says the company was not compliant with another of the requirements of the memorandum it signed with the state for $60 million in investment. The auditor’s office says the company only had 89 investors for a total of $43 million. The company also didn’t provide detail records that showed it met the state’s salary requirements for each job created of $35,0000 annually.

Pickering’s office has filed a nearly $6.4 million demand against the company that is due in 30 days. The company was supposed to make payments twice annually, on June 30 and December 31, with the first due six months after the start of commercial production. Greentech didn’t make the payment until November 2016.

The MyCar was not certified for use on U.S. roads and was only intended to be sold as a “neighborhood electric vehicle” with a maximum range of only 65 miles per charge.

According to the company’s website:

Whether you need to enforce security around your campus… shuttle staff in comfort from building to building… or manage your parking lots, GreenTech Automotive has an affordable, energy-efficient solution for your business.

A 2017 Google Maps satellite image shows an empty parking lot at Greentech Automotive's plant near Tunica. Image from Google Maps, Digital Globe, USDA Farm Service Agency and the state of Arkansas

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