Magna Steyr Gives Carmakers a Shortcut to Producing Electric Vehicles

With the global economy heading downhill and car manufacturers feeling the pinch, Magna Steyr is hoping to show off its development capabilities and win a few contracts. Magna Steyr showed the Mila EV, which uses a fully integrated electric vehicle platform, at the Geneva Motor Show.

The Mila EV is developed and designed completely in-house by Magna Steyr. It uses a 67-hp electric motor powered by Magna Steyr-developed lithium-ion batteries. The vehicle has an average charging time of 2.5 hours and a range of about 90 miles. The concept also uses solar cells in the glass roof to produce extra power.

Magna Steyr showed the Mila EV in hopes to attract attention to its electric vehicle platform that the company claims can be used by every OEM to create their own products. The Austrian company already has a contract with Ford to produce an electric version of the Focus. The new electric platform is flexible enough to be “right-sized” to any customer OEM’s requirements and can be built with a variety of powertrain setups. Magna Steyr says the platform can be built as a pure battery-electric car, a hybrid, a natural gas-powered vehicle, or a hydrogen fuel-cell powered vehicle.

With governments pushing lower emissions, higher fuel economy, and electric vehicles in general, Magna Steyr is hoping to sell the basic “off the shelf” platform to OEM’s that would then incorporate their own unique design. The platform is so flexible more than one manufacturer could build distinct cars on the same basic architecture. Giving the OEM’s a fully engineered and flexible platform to buy allows them to get an electric vehicle to market much faster and more economically than if they were to develop the vehicle themselves.

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