Magna's Next Car to be Powered by Electricity

The parts giant, based in Aurora, Ont., has set aside an initial budget of $30-million to develop the plug-in hybrid car at its Austria facility.

Published: 04-May-2008

AURORA, ONT. -- Magna International Inc. has joined the race to develop a plug-in hybrid car and plans to have a prototype on the road next year or in 2010.

Frank Stronach, founder of Canada's largest auto parts company, is looking to take advantage of the seismic shift to more environmentally friendly automotive technologies and play a key role as the industry works to design fuel-saving alternatives to the century-old internal combustion engine .

"You don't have to be a great scientist to know that we're going to be out of oil sooner or later," Mr. Stronach said.


Powered by advanced lithium-ion batteries and two 67bhp (50kW) electric motors to drive the front and rear axles, the Mixim is a four-wheel-drive car with a theoretical top speed of 112mph and a potential maximum range of 156 miles.

Dodge ZEO is 2+2 electric muscle car for the 21st century powered by 200kW electric drive with 0-60 mph in less than 6 seconds and range of 250 miles.

The Air Car may do better than fuel-cell cars, but experts say that using grid power to charge a battery-powered electric vehicle is much more efficient than using electricity to compress and store the same amount of energy in a tank.


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