RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – It is the new hot product in automotive technology -- electric cars were on display at the State Capitol. Could they be the future on roads across America?
One former candidate for governor believes they could. Terry McAuliffe joined NBC12 on First at Four to talk more about this project.
Ryan Nobles: Thank you for being here. Welcome back to First at 4:00.
Terry McAuliffe: Ryan, good to be back with you.
Ryan Nobles: Good to see you again. You have purchased a Chinese company that makes two-seat electric cars. This connection got you invited to lunch with China's president yesterday. How viable is this industry to, first create jobs and then second to help clean under the environment?
Terry McAuliffe: It's both of those as well as a great national security issue. We can't keep importing 58% of our oil from nations, some of them particularly who don't like us, so I've started a company called Green Tech Automotive. A what makes this unique, I went to China, bought one of their big electric car companies and moved it to America, and as we speak, three cargo ships are full of equipment which will be our first plant in Mississippi, and we'll roll out our first car, all American made, on July 4th this year, which will sell the cars back to China and to Europe, and here. And this year I'll make a major announcement on another major facility.
Ryan Nobles: Green technology is a good thing, but the electricity still has to come from somewhere and for the most part, electricity produced in the United States comes from non-clean burning sources like coal. Why this is a greener initiative?
Terry McAuliffe: Because the engines now on the electric vehicles are 90% more efficient than the internal combustion can engine. So, yes, you're using electricity, but you're only using 10%, if you use a gallon of gas, you use basically 10% of that for electricity. Much more efficient vehicles, which will cut down on total amount of energy that's being required. I believe electric vehicles are the future and they're huge job creators, Ryan. We'll create jobs, thousands of jobs, China just announced the other day, $15 billion investment in electric vehicles. We cannot let China overtake this market.
Ryan Nobles: They're just so expensive right now; $40,000 in an investment for an electric car. When will the price come down?
Terry McAuliffe: You go to Green Tech Automotive, my company, our first car as I say will roll out on July 4th of this year and we're selling the first 100,000 vehicles for $10,000.
Ryan Nobles: Okay, all right. Let's talk politics. You're involved in that a little bit.
Terry McAuliffe: A little bit, yes.
Ryan Nobles: You're probably going to run for governor, but I'm not going to ask you about that, but this democratic politics, there's a lot of speculation about Senator Jim Webb. In your view, will he run for re-election?
Terry McAuliffe: I think he is. He hasn't told me he's going to returning it by clearly -- you know, he's been a very effective United States senator and he's taken his time. I saw him over the holidays and he said he wanted to spend some time with his family to make that decision and I think we'll probably find out in the next 30, 45 days, but he's got plenty of time to do what he needs to do. I hope he does. He's been an effective leader in the Senate, great to the military, great for Virginia and at a time when Secretary Gates is cutting back the defense budget, we get $35 billion here in Virginia and it's about 530,000 jobs, and we need a great applicant in there fighting for us.
Ryan Nobles: But if he doesn't run, you're not interested in the job?
Terry McAuliffe: No, Senate is not my deal. I like to make executive decisions, to see them implemented tomorrow. It's called the greatest and largest deliberative body in the world for a Ryan. Everybody has their DNA and that's not my style.
Ryan Nobles: Thank you so much for being here. I'm sure we'll talk to you more in the next couple years.
Terry McAuliffe: Thank you.
See the video at right for the full interview.