Monday, May 10, 2010


CT&T and the number 10,000

by Larry Geller

man In languages derived from Chinese (Korean, Japanese, for example) there is a number representing a myriad, or 10,000. In Korean it can be written either 萬 or  만 .  It is a special number.

It appears to be special to CT&T also. That’s the car company that Governor Lingle hyped in her announcement just days ago as the latest darling of Hawaii’s Clean Energy Initiative.

The company is to build a plant in Hawaii to produce 10,000 cars a year. Trouble is, they’ve used that number a bit too often for credibility.

First, here’s how 10,000 was used in Hawaii, then we’ll check further.

On the Governor’s website is a picture of her sitting in what looks like a red golf cart, not much different from some of the electric cars rented to tourists in Waikiki. That web page refers to a Memorandum of Understanding Lingle signed along with the chairman of CT&T America. Yes, they signed it:


…and it calls for a plant to be built with an annual capacity of 10,000 2-seater vehicles.

The MOU, which was signed by Governor Lingle and CT&T President and CEO Young Gi Lee, enlists Hawai`i’s support for the plant with an annual capacity of 10,000 two-seater electric vehicles. The plant is also expected to be able to assemble electric buses and four-passenger electric vehicles as well.

Here’s a snippet from that MOU:

To join the State of Hawai’i’s efforts to reduce foreign oil dependency and to promote new electric vehicle technology that will play a critical role in the achievement of the 70% clean energy goal by 2030, CT&T plans to bring a electric vehicle Regional Assembly and Sales facility to the State of Hawai’i in the near future. The CT&T Hawai’i Regional Assembly and Sales facility will be owned and managed directly by CT&T America with an anticipated total vehicle production capacity of 10,000 per year.

This memorandum sets forth the parties’ intention to cooperate with each other to carry out the above stated missions. CT&T will develop a Regional Assembly and Sales on O’ahu; to that end, the State of Hawai’i may provide assistance to promote Hawai’i’s commitment to the introduction and expansion of electric vehicles. This may include incentives for the purchase or lease of electric vehicles, site search assistance, and support for the development of advanced vehicle technology.

Ok, now we try a Google search for CT&T and 10,000. Examining the results, there’s this hit, for example:


Here’s another hit:


And another


There’s a bit of shift here, now it’s 10,000 jobs. Moving on, I’m not sure what this one means, but it still has that magic number:


Now we go to California:


This next one is hard to see, so I just snipped the text. Here, they use 10,000 twice:

According to CT&T's own analysis, A monthly electricity rate is only 67kW when it runs 1500km a month, on a average 50km of the daily travel distance. It is 1.4 times of the monthly power consumption(47kW) of a refrigerator which has the fist degree of energy efficiency. The electricity rate is 4,800won by charging with midnight power, and 8,400won in the daytime. We could run EV with the costs of less than 10,000 won a month to commute to work.


CT&T has his own plants of yearly 60,000 car production capacity, 10,000 car from DandJin’s plant in Korea and 50,000 car at Wendeng China. In a view of facility, It is the largest capability in the world, the second is GEM (producing 8,000cars yearly) which is Chrycler's subsidiary.

Back to production. This time, Fiji (!), same 10,000 per year there:


From Fiji to Philly. Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell signed a deal with CT&T also. Yes, the article mentions guess what, 10,000 a year::


So what do you think of the 10,000 promises?

If CT&T indicated that their calculations show they might sell 2,400 annually in Hawaii, or 240, or maybe 24, I might believe them. But 10,000 has been so overused and oversold that I am surprising our governor was so gullible.

Oh… while Googling, I noticed this, at the end of an article:

In Korea, meanwhile, there are no regulations for a vehicle of this size.

The Korean police argue that electric vehicles become an obstacle to traffic flow while the Transportation Ministry insists that there is a safety issue. The regulations regarding electric vehicles are still pending in the National Assembly.

Yes, these are slow-speed cars. And Consumer Reports has not yet spoken on whether they are safe..



I followed a similar two seater on Kalanianaole Hwy from Hawaii Kai to Kahala exit. They appeared to be very unstable and I feared for the couples safety, so I puttered along behind them as far as I could. Thanks for all the research, Larry, this doesn't sound like a good option for Hawai'i anymore than rail.

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