Ford Benefits From Magna's Experience Developing EV1

· · 9 years ago

Let it not be said that the EV1 was a complete tragedy. Even though General Motors' proto-electric was taken off of the road in 2003—much to the chagrin of hundreds of enthusiastic leasees—a lot is said to have been learned from the EV1 program. GM has always pointed to the EV1 as a pivotal vehicle that provided a jumping off point for the Volt, the highly-anticipated plug-in electric hybrid that it will release later this year.

What isn't as widely known is that Canadian parts giant, Magna, participated in the EV1 project for the last three years of development, contributing to the design and manufacture of its electric powertrain. Founder and chairman Frank Stonach, who is currently focusing much of his attention on Magna's growing electric vehicle program, told
that the lessons the company learned from the EV1 have been invaluable.

Magna has brought that knowledge to its partnership with Ford as the companies tweak the Ford Focus electric, which will be released in 2011. Magna plans to develop and sell complete electric rolling chassis to carmakers, who can then tack on an interior and body and sell electric cars without launching a decade-long EV research program. Magna hopes to turn this into a $20 billion business by 2020.

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