U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Clean Cities

Revving Electric-Motor Plant Highlights Recovery Act Investment

January 18, 2012

Photo of a men seated inside a car.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu inside the new 2013 Dodge Dart at the 2012 Detroit auto show. He later delivered an address on DOE support for U.S. auto industry innovation.
Credit: DOE/Hantz Leger

Highlighting the Obama Administration's efforts to boost innovation in the U.S. car industry, the Acting Undersecretary of Energy toured UQM Technologies' electric drive component manufacturing facilities on January 13. DOE's Arun Majumdar visited the Longmont, Colorado-based company that was able to purchase and renovate a 130,000-square-foot facility because of a $45 million DOE grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which the firm matched dollar for dollar. UQM recently announced it would provide electric-propulsion systems for 100 UPS delivery vehicles to be deployed in early 2012.

When completed, the Longmont plant will be able to produce electric-drive systems and power electronics and processors for up to 120,000 electric drive vehicles each year. The plant has the flexibility to produce systems for light-duty hybrid, plug-in hybrid electric, and all-electric passenger vehicles, as well as heavy-duty hybrid trucks and buses.

The Recovery Act award is only a part of DOE's longstanding collaboration with UQM, which dates to the 1990s and includes competitive awards as well as grants through the Small Business Innovation Research program. Most recently, DOE awarded the company a $3 million competitive, cost-shared award to develop electric motors that don’t require magnets made from rare-earth elements as a way to support more efficient, less expensive electric-vehicle technologies. See the DOE press release and Energy Secretary Steven Chu's remarks on automobile innovation.