BYD engineering team 2015

Pictured: Electric drivetrain engineers at BYD, which has operations in City of Los Angeles and Lancaster

Advanced Transportation

The L.A. region is central to design, R&D, innovation and engineering that sets the foundation for the world’s cars. Of course, L.A. is home to over 20 automotive design studios serving all the major brands.

In our region, businesses and talent in this industry are increasingly focused on alternative transportation, including alternative fuels, electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, and prototypes of new concepts that will change the face of transportation over the coming decade.

In the electric vehicle market alone, Tesla’s design facility is here, new electric car company Faraday Future just located here, electric car maker Fisker Automotive is in nearby Orange County, and electric bus makers BYD and Proterra manufacture here… and that is just the tip of the iceberg.  The roots on this alternative vehicle industry can be traced back many years…and the recent growth of this industry is phenomenal, and is rapidly attracting talent and investment.

The Advanced Transportation Center of Southern California has recently been established to promote these technologies and assist this industry cluster as it grows successfully, which will lead to well-paying, skilled jobs, and add economic strength to the region.

Please visit

Background: Read the press release announcing the Advanced Transportation Center below.

New SoCal Tech Center to Promote Alternative
Fuel & Advanced Vehicles

LAEDC-led consortium awarded Energy Commission funds
to drive regional clean vehicle innovation

LOS ANGELES, CA – 2014 –  The California Energy Commission has awarded funds to a consortium of Southern California-based organizations led by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) to establish a Southern California Center for Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicle Technology. The Center will consist of one virtual hub and two physical locations—one in San Diego, which will be managed by the California Center for Sustainable Energy, and one in Los Angeles, which will be managed by the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator. The Center will serve the counties of Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura.

“Southern California already boasts tremendous assets in driving the consumer-side of the advanced transportation market,” said Bill Allen, President and CEO, LAEDC. “Our goal with this critically important Center is to also leverage these assets to ensure that we’re a leading developer, designer and producer of these lower-emission technologies to add the high-value jobs and wages as well as the tax revenues that will result from a thriving advanced transportation cluster.”

The California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE), a nonprofit organization that administers the statewide Clean Vehicle Rebate Project for the California Air Resources Board, will operate the San Diego Center. “Southern California already leads the state in the adoption of alternative fuel vehicles, but we are a long way from where we need to be to reach the state’s ambitious goals for reducing petroleum use and greenhouse gas emissions,” said CCSE Executive Director Len Hering, RADM, USN (ret.). “These two new centers and the online component will help municipalities, government agencies and industry partners better focus and direct their efforts to grow the market for cleaner transportation throughout the region.”

The Los Angeles Center will be managed by the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) at the La Kretz Innovation Campus in downtown Los Angeles. “LACI is thrilled to leverage its incubation programs and state-of-the-art campus to further advance the commercialization of alternative fuels and vehicle technologies in Southern California,” said Fred Walti, Executive Director of LACI. “The deeply committed and capable partners cooperating in this initiative represent an economic development powerhouse.”

“This project will be a great asset for our region,” said Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal, chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee. “Not only will they be developing alternative fuels and clean technology, they’ll be creating jobs that will drive economic growth for years to come.”

Additional partners receiving funding include the UCLA Smart Grid Energy Research Center and the Luskin Center for Innovation, Advanced Sustainability Institute, California State University-Los Angeles and the Inland Empire Economic Partnership.

The California Energy Commission contract is scheduled to begin in June 2014. The project will also use $1.6 million in matching funds from advanced transportation industry leaders. For more information about the Center, visit