FEV Breaks Ground On New Research Facility

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

We are pleased to announce that FEV North America, Inc. has begun construction of their new 25,600 square foot research and labaoratory facility.  The new facility is located on the south side of Harmon Road between Atlantic Boulevard and Continental Drive.

The building will provide FEV 12,800 square feet of lab/shop area, 12,560 square feet of storage area and 240 square feet of office space.  FEV is known as an international leader in the design and development of interal combusion engines, conventional, electric and alternative vehicle drive systems, and energy techology.

We look forward to the day FEV moves into their new faciltiy which we expect will take place later this year.

FEV – Building A Legacy Of Success

Posted by – Stephanie Carroll, Manager of Business Development & Community Relations

Yesterday, we celebrated the groundbreaking for FEV’s new Vehicle Test Center.  This is the third facility that FEV has built in Auburn Hills.

Governor Snyder was on hand to celebrate along with Mayor McDaniel, Oakland County and the MEDC

Construction will begin shortly on the new 25,000 square-foot facility, located at 1300 Harmon Road.  This new facility will be a vehicle emissions testing center featuring a chassis dynamometer, where vehicles can be driven on rolls in simulated driving conditions.  This new project is expected to bring with it 250 new full-time jobs.

The new state-of-the-art facility is expected to be completed in 2018.  We are absolutely thrilled that FEV has chosen to call Auburn Hills home for nearly 30 years.

Making a “Technological Curiosity” a Reality

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

The mass adoption of vehicles fueled by natural gas, instead of petroleum, seemed very unlikely a decade ago.  Today, it’s becoming closer to reality.

In response to anticipated consumer demand, Auburn Hills-based FEV, Inc. is making a significant investment in the addition of testing capabilities for compressed natural gas (CNG) engines at its North American Technical Center.  Their facility which is located at 4554 Glenmeade Lane, employs approximately 350 people.  The new high-pressure, advanced CNG test cell is expected to be operational by October.

Building Official Jeff Spencer reviews FEV’s plans to construct a CNG test cell

Why are the automotive companies investing in CNG technology?  Well, as a fuel it offers many advantages:

  1. The use of CNG in vehicles is viewed as one of the most viable near-term solutions to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil.  Natural gas is an abundant resource with a projected domestic capacity of about 100 years.
  2. From a technical standpoint, CNG is a high-octane fuel source that reduces knocking sensitivity which enhances engine efficiency.
  3. The use of CNG in vehicles has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions over gasoline by 25%, and 15% compared to diesel fuel.  Lean-burn versions have the potential to reduce CO2 emissions even more, about 30-35%.

For these reasons, the car companies – like Chrysler Group LLC – are developing both light and heavy-duty engines designed to run on CNG.   This significant investment is being pushed by both consumer demand and the automakers need to comply with future State and Federal emissions and efficiency standards.

Cars and trucks fueled by natural gas are coming, it’s just a matter of time.

Like plug-in electric vehicles, the future of CNG vehicle adoption will be dependent primarily on America’s ability to build the infrastructure needed for refueling.  Creating a network of fueling stations will be expensive and significant advanced planning is required.

Since the City of Auburn Hills is a global hub of automotive R&D, expect to see our community lead by example in promoting this innovation in the years to come.

To learn about Chrysler Group LLC’s investment in CNG, check out this blog – Chrysler Works to Find an Alternative.