Hybrid vehicle maker coming to CU-ICAR

Scott Miller
November 11, 2008

A start-up hybrid vehicle maker plans to locate at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research but needs local suppliers to outsource its production.

EV Power Systems of Charlotte, N.C. received $200,000 from SC Launch to headquarter operations in South Carolina. The two parties are expected to make an announcement at ICAR late Wednesday.

“To me, EV Power represents a great investment because it’s a low-energy, green technology, and it reflects a lot of the Upstate partnerships that are being formed in the knowledge economy,” said Bill Mahoney, CEO of the S.C. Research Authority, which oversees SC Launch.

EV Power retrofits trucks with hybrid electric systems that can increase fuel economy 33%. The company intends to sell fleet vehicles to municipalities and private companies, said CEO John Dabels.

While the company is in the start-up phase, it is producing some vehicles via contractors in Indiana and Michigan, he said. Those operations will move to South Carolina within the next year, Dabels said. To do so, he’s looking for a number of Palmetto state suppliers for motors, wheels, tires, batteries, seats and metal fabrication, and other manufacturing functions.

“We’re still early stage in production. We’re now in the process of trying to find suppliers in South Carolina,” Dabels said. “The intent is once we refine the procedures, we will move throughout South Carolina and the Southeast.”

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