In a strange reversal for Southern Californians who lamented the death of General Motors' EV1 electric car more than ten years ago, the car company announced it will invest $6 million in its Torrance Advanced Technology Center as it gears up to help the car maker produce advanced electric motors for cars.
“Electric motors are driving the next wave of automotive growth,” stated Tom Stephens, GM Vice Chairman of Global Product Operations.
According to the Daily Breeze, the Torrance facility, which was once used to develop “power electronics” for the EV1, will help develop electric motors for the roll-out of GM's next generation of green-friendly powerplants, called “two-mode, hybrid technology,” in 2013.
The 100-employee facility has already done work on GM's latest electric vehicle, the Chevrolet Volt. GM pokesman Shad Balch told the paper that “development and assembly” of the new motor could happen in Torrance.
“It's significant to note that this is happening in California, where we expect there to be a large volume of early adoption in electric vehicles,” Balch said. “So it is important for this work to be taking place in California.”
Overall GM is investing $246 million in next-wave electric motor development, and a $105 million, U.S. Department of Energy grant to help develop gas-alternative engines is part of the funding.