Production of the first electric cars made in Mexico by a 100% Mexican-owned company will begin in Puebla next week after a new Zacua plant was officially opened yesterday.
CEO Jorge Martínez Ramos said during the ceremony that the plant — located in the state capital’s Puebla 2000 Industrial Park — will manufacture 100 M2 and M3 two-seater, zero-emission Zacua coupe models in its first year of operation and initially generate 35 direct jobs.
The 80-million-peso (US $4.3-million) plant’s output is expected to double in its second year of production and a four-seater model will be added to the company’s lineup.
Eventually, Zacua’s goal is to manufacture 2,000 vehicles annually at the Puebla facility, for which an additional 500-million-peso (US $26.8-million) investment will be required.
The first cars are set to go on sale next month and will retail for around 550,000 pesos (US $29,500).
The vehicles’ entry into the market was initially slated for November but the company experienced delays following the September 19 earthquake.
The two models will come in three colors — red, ivory and gray — and sales will initially be made via the Zacua website. Only women will work in the Puebla plant, where they will assemble one vehicle per day using 40% locally-supplied content.
However, starting on December 1 next year the company aims to use 100% Mexican content.
Spanish company Dynamik Technological Alliance completed the vehicles’ engineering development and French company Chatenet was responsible for the design but Zacua intends to use a completely Mexican design for new models it develops.
Measuring just 3.06 meters in length, 1.56 meters wide and 1.4 meters high and weighing 685 kilograms, the car is designed to squeeze into the smallest of spaces.
Each vehicle will have a lithium-ion battery that takes eight hours to fully charge and allows a range of 160 kilometers or just under 100 miles.
The cars will be capable of reaching a maximum speed of 95 km/h although Mexico City drivers will be limited to a top speed of 85 km/h.
The new electric cars will not be restricted by the Hoy No Circula (No Circulation Today) regulation in the capital nor will owners have to pay vehicle tax or purchase an environmental verification certificate.
Other vehicle specifications include:
- An electric permanent magnet synchronous motor with a maximum power output of 34 kilowatts.
- Front-wheel drive.
- Hydraulic circuit ABS braking system.
- MacPherson Strut-style suspension.
Puebla Governor José Antonio Gali Fayed welcomed the company’s arrival at yesterday’s plant opening and said that the Zacua vehicles will help to reduce Mexico’s overall carbon emissions.