Electric Motors Corp. a leader in the emerging electric vehicle industry, continues to move forward with its plans to establish a strategic manufacturing center in northern Indiana. As part of this initiative, the company has announced an agreement with Livernois Vehicle Development, one of the largest automotive engineering firms in Detroit, according to a news release.
An industrial automation and assembly expert, Livernois will provide the engineering services to ensure that EMC’s electric drive train systems are fully compliant with the chassis and body parameters of light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, including the Ford F-150 pickup, which will be retrofitted with EMC’s electric drive train systems. Livernois will be launching an electric vehicle engineering division as a direct result of its joint venture with EMC.
“Livernois is very excited about partnering with EMC on this exciting new project,” said Norma Wallis, president of Livernois Vehicle Development. “It’s a real boost for the economies of both Indiana and Michigan. We’re creating new products as well as a new future by bringing the automotive market here in Michigan, together with the expertise of the recreational vehicle industry in Indiana.”
In addition to its new partnership with Livernois, EMC has entered into agreements with several other automotive manufacturing companies in Indiana and Michigan, including recreational vehicle manufacturer Gulf Stream Coach Inc. “Our partnership with Livernois, as well as with other leading companies, represents the beginning of a much larger network of suppliers, manufacturers, and other vendors to the electric vehicle industry,” said Wil Cashen, EMC’s CEO. “Incorporating electric drive systems into existing vehicles is fast becoming a significant part of the automotive industry’s future. Livernois’ superb engineering skills will help us achieve that goal faster and more efficiently.”
Part of EMC’s grand design is to establish Elkhart County, Ind., as the center of the electric vehicle industry in the United States. Elkhart, known as the capital of the recreational vehicle industry, has been hit especially hard by the recession, with unemployment topping 18%. EMC’s Elkhart County facilities are expected to drive a significant number of jobs to the area.
“There are three factors coming together to make the ‘perfect storm’ for the electric vehicle industry,” said Cashen. “The availability of federal loans will stimulate even more innovation in this area, and tougher CAFE standards means the auto industry as a whole is taking EV technology very seriously. But beyond government programs, the biggest factor driving this fledgling industry is the renewed entrepreneurial spirit we’re seeing once again throughout the automotive community, as established auto manufacturers and new innovators alike create a whole new class of automotive technology. We’re proud to be a leader of that movement.”