MISHAWAKA - A California electric vehicle manufacturer is seeking tax abatement on part of its major investment plans in Mishawaka. The South Bend Tribune reports SF Motors is requesting incentives from the St. Joseph County Council that could total close to $900,000. The seven-year abatement, which would apply to an initial $20 million equipment investment on the former AM General commercial assembly plant, would go into effect next year.

In all, the China-based Chongqing Sokon Industry Group-subsidiary is planning to invest more than $160 million into the St. Joseph County operation and employ 470 by 2020. Trial production, it has said, could begin in late-2019.

The publication reports the company would have to meet milestones to continue receiving the abatement, including: employ 100 and invest $20 million in equipment by year's end, complete equipment installation by March 31, maintain a workforce of at least 100 from 2019-2021.

According to the South Bend Tribune, County Economic Development Director Bill Schalliol said the companies equipment investment could -- over time -- more than double the total requested in the initial tax abatement. The request will ultimately still need approval from the full County Council.