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Two O.C. firms garner Energy Commission grants

Irvine-based Quantum Fuel Systems receives $1.4 million; Huntington Beach's EV Connect nets $415,185.

By OC METRO staffPublished: October 13, 2010 02:20 PM

Irvine-based Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide and EV Connect LLC in Huntington Beach are among nine companies that received a total of $12.6 million from the state Energy Commission.

The funding is part of the agency's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Transportation program.

Quantum garnered a $1.4 million grant to test and manufacture its Q-Drive powertrain for electric, hybrid and plugin hybrid vehicles.

The company plans to provide $1.7 million in matching funds to upgrade its Lake Forest manufacturing facility with testing equipment, a pilot development line and eventually a high-volume production line that's expected to create 30 to 40 jobs – or more if Quantum's second-generation Q-Drive is "successful," according to a statement from the commission.

The Q-Drive, which was developed for Irvine-based Fisker Automotive's Karma plugin hybrid sedan, could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 48 percent and cut fuel consumption by 270 gallons a year, according to the agency.

Quantum expects to produce 36,000 of the new combination inverter-charger units every year at the plant.

Meanwhile, EV Connect LLC, a provider of electric-vehicle infrastructures, garnered $415,185 from the agency to install 20 publicly accessible charging stations at five transit hubs in L.A.

The project will allow drivers of plugin electric vehicles to leave their cars at a station and have them fully charged upon returning.

EV Connect will provide $23,096 for the project.

"Innovative companies are beginning to make California a manufacturing center for cutting-edge transportation choices," said Energy Commissioner Anthony Eggert. "The projects the commission approved ... encourage the development of a network of California-based manufacturers of green vehicles and components that improve our state's energy and economic security, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

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