Aurica Motors, a startup electric car company, announced plans to keep open a California joint venture between Toyota and General Motors by building zero-emission electric cars there.
Aurica Motors estimated it will need more than $1 billion in private and government financing to launch the factory and to retain the 4,700 NUMMI employees.
The company has built a prototype of the motor drive system that would be the core of the vehicle. The first of the company’s electric cars could roll off the assembly line in two years. Their batteries could be charged by plugging them in, or they could be swapped out “in three minutes” at a service site.
Aurica says the electric car will cost between costing $40,000 and $50,000.
New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI) was born in 1984 as a joint venture making cars for GM and for Toyota. GM has since pulled out of the plant and Toyota plans to stop making cars there at the end of this month.
At least 6,700 jobs will vanish when NUMMI shuts down. An estimated 4,700 people who work at the plant will lose their jobs. In addition, suppliers for NUMMI have announced NUMMI-linked job cuts that top 2,000.[source: Green Tech Media]