Aurica who?

Aurica Motors today announced plans to take over the Nummi automotive plant run by Toyota in Fremont, California. When Toyota vacates, Aurica wants to make all-electric cars with swappable batteries at the plant. The company claims that its "Recurve" drivetrain allows Aurica's car to go farther on a charge than competing cars can.

"Aurica's drivetrain holds the secret to increasing range," the company's website says. (The drivetrain is not associated with Recurve, the energy-efficiency retrofitter.)

It's not the only secret. Other ones are: who are these guys? Where did they come from? Who backs them? The maiden press release says the company was founded by a noted Silicon Valley physicist and that its scientists have worked three years on developing the drivetrain. There is an illustration of the battery swap system at this link: It is the thing that looks like the entrance to a wedding chapel in Reno.

The car will cost less than half as much as the cars that sell in the $100,000 range like the Tesla Roadster, it claims. If the company can get federal funding, Aurica says it will be able to retain the 4,700 Nummi employees and come out with a car in two years. Whether Aurica has an application for funding in, however, is unknown. There's virtually no chance that millions would pour in to save the factory by April even if Aurica had applied for funds a long time ago.

Ideas for reviving Nummi have been fielded by the company since the closure became certain.