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