AUBURN HILLS, MI - Electric powertrain company ALTe last week moved into a new 185,000-square-foot facility in Auburn Hills. The company is positioning itself to specialize in the emerging field of fleet vehicle electric conversion, the Detroit Free Press reported. 

ALTe is focusing its efforts on turning existing commercial fleet vehicles into plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. In particular, the company is targeting commercial vehicles that are two to four years old and are no longer under warranty. The company will offer customers a 50,000-mile, five-year warranty to cover its own electric powertrain. 

The company's new facility is expected to eventually produce up to 90,000 powertrains each year. By 2012, ALTe expects to have 305 employees. 

"If we can convert just 500,000 vehicles over a five- or six-year period, we achieve all of our financial goals," ALTe CEO John Thomas told the Detroit Free Press. ALTe's system is expected to improve fuel efficiency by 80 to 200 percent, depending on the vehicle. 

Thomas and co-founders Nam Thai-Tang and Jeff DeFrank previously worked for Tesla Motors, the California-based electric vehicle maker. Before that, Thomas worked for auto supplier Magna International. Thai-Tang and DeFrank also previously worked for Ford.