• Mar 11th 2010 at 11:51AM
  • 13
Who the heck is Aurica Motors? An under-the-radar electric car company with big dreams, that's who. A company that, if it gets its way, will turn the soon-to-be-closed NUMMI plant in Fremont, CA into a huge production facility for electric vehicles. Earlier speculation about NUMMI's future included the possibility that it would make hybrids for both Toyota and General Motors, or that maybe Tesla Motors or Fisker Automotive would step in. None of these things happened.

Aurica, based in California, has reportedly been working on an electric powerplant called the Recurve Drive System for about four years. Now it wants to go big. Aurica hopes to make a vehicle at NUMMI called the Aurica E-Car. Aurica says the plug-in E-Car will be "100% emission-free" and will use an "interchangeable quick swap battery" that draws power from solar, wind and tidal energy and is exchanged using a PEP (Power Exchange Package) modular charging kiosk. The car, which would cost something like $40,000 to $50,000, could also be charged at home. For safety, the battery can break away from the car in the case of a crash.

What's more unusual is that the body can also be exchanged. Aurica says their all-wheel-drive powertrain "could easily last for 20 years or more with minimal maintenance" and so people could update the exterior for about a third of the cost of a new car every few years instead of buying a new car. Many options will be available, should this project ever become real:
The Aurica E-Car Series will begin with four body styles all built to fit on the same standard chassis. You can get a sporty economy car, a mid-sized 4-door sedan, a stylish SUV hatchback, or a light pickup truck. More body styles and color combinations will be available every year. We will even assist custom body designers to offer more exotic designs that fit the chassis perfectly.
Oh, and Aurica says building these cars will save the 4,700 jobs that will be lost when the plant closes at the end of the month. They better hurry.

[Source: Aurica Motors, Automotive News – sub. req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      These plants were closed because too many cars were being manufactured. If they re-open a plant, regardless of the type of car produced, they will once again be too many cars produced and some other plant will have to close in its place.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I looked at the site, and all I saw was a poor illustration. NO working concept or prototype. And should they get the plant, they have to deal with the baggage that is the UAW.

      That's two strikes against it already. No need for a third. This company is finished.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Who the heck are these guys? Taking over a plant the size of NUMI with what funding? They don't even show who their management team is, who makes their battery, prototype and so forth, and they have some sort of a battery swap thing BP style.

      Jeez, at this rate, I will start my own battery company and plan to take over some random plant in Indiana/Ohio/Michigan..
        • 5 Years Ago
        Even Tesla Motors, which actually has working prototypes and is producing cars and probably has a lot more money than this unknown, could not afford to take over NUMMI. Methinks Aurica Motors is nothing more than wishful thinking with a dash of braggadocio.

        Now perhaps a consortium of several EV and PHEV makers could together manage to finance the purchase, but it does introduce a whole new set of problems as to who gets what office and who gets which production line and for how long.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No way, I'll start my own car company first. I have made many drawings on napkins that look much better then theirs. All my friends think my drawings are beautiful. All I need is 200$million to get started. Are you in?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Continuing a mistake, i see.

      NUMMI in California doesn't make sense to me at all. You have to pay workers more because the cost of living is high.. and electricity in CA is the most expensive on the west side of the United States.

      Maybe the cost of transport is too prohibitive, i dunno.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No, it's not just energy costs, dude. CA's got way more problems than that.

        Said nut cases are actually preventing CA from going green because every f'in renewable energy project is crushed by people who see biodiversity as more important. ( ie: we can't do this because it might hurt some rare snail ). I think this argument is silly because pollution will kill biodiversity & ultimately the projected effects of global warming too, so you gotta pick your poison.

        Here in Washington/Oregon, half of our energy comes from renewable resources. Our energy also costs about half of what it does in CA. We have made the necessary compromises. The pacific NW is literally the greenest place in the USA.

        Meanwhile, massive proposed Carizo plains solar field has been fought back since 2007 over the silliest of reasons.
        Meanwhile, they shovel more coal into the furnace and complain about air quality.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yep, it's more expensive to manufacture or even live here. And why is that? Ask the nut cases that are artificially inflating our energy costs to go Green. Ask the regulatory agencies. Ask the state Representatives why they hate business so much. We already have Cap and Trade in this state and it's working so well. And do we really need unions? Darn near as bad as paying the darn politicians.

        More to the subject though, Aurica Motors is VERY under the radar, their claims are 'interesting', not quite perpetual motion but ..... your mileage may vary. If what they claim is true its a breakthrough, if not then they have a career in politics.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Who the heck is Aurica Motors?" Indeed. This smells like a DoE loan scam attempt. I'd like to be proven wrong but anyone who has watched the EV biz for a while knows that they must be extremely skeptical.

      The couldn't even come up with a decent car rendering? The PR reads like a mish-mash of dreams, ideas stolen from others, and hype.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good idea. Way too pricey. $30K or under or they will languish on the showroom floor. They are on the verge of absolutely cutthroat competition in EVs. Within 2 years EVs will no longer be a novelty and every car company will be selling manufacturing and selling them. I expect fleet sales to governments and public utilities will provide the early volume. At this price they will be competing with the low volume high quality stuff like Fisker and Tesla. Even Volt is significantly cheaper (although they are pretty pricey also). So far the Leaf looks to be the contender.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The one thing that bothers me about the design: "For safety, the battery can break away from the car in the case of a crash."

      Dumb idea. 400 pound projectile anyone?
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