Like most other suppliers, Magna International and its contract manufacturing unit Magna Steyr are pushing hard to diversify into the area of hybrid and electric powertrain components and systems. In January at the Detroit Auto Show, Magna International and Ford announced a collaboration on a Focus-based electric car that will go on sale in 2011. Here in Geneva, Magna Steyr combined that electrification effort with a reminder that the company is capable of doing complete vehicle engineering and manufacturing for other automakers.
The Mila EV is a concept meant to illustrate a new vehicle platform that Magna has developed and optimized for electric drive applications. The modular system is able to be adapted to different body styles and even different powertrain configurations. It can be built as a pure EV or with a parallel or series hybrid setup. Magna is offering it to any manufacturer that would like a turn-key EV platform solution in order to get a car into production quickly.
In addition to the platform, Magna is getting into the battery game, as well. Currently, the company is focusing on pack integration and working with a number of different cell suppliers and chemistries. Long term, the company may look at getting into cell development itself.
Gallery: Geneva 2009: Magna Steyr Mila EV
mila ev: Uncompromising, forward-looking, universal, suited to daily use
Magna is presenting the latest member of the MILA innovation family at the Geneva Motor Show 2009: mila ev – a forward-looking automotive concept, uncompromising, universally applicable and suited to daily use in every way.
The outstanding element and centerpiece of the mila ev is its fully integrated
electric vehicle platform which can be used by every OEM to realize their own
product, drive and design strategies in the shortest of time.
A new vehicle concept
A new vehicle concept has been developed in the shape of the mila ev in which the electric drive represents both the starting point and end point of development. In other words, a vehicle concept optimized for an alternative, forward-looking drive technology in all the developmental steps and thus representing no subsequent modification, retrofitting or conversion of an already existing concept. Without compromise, as only can be expected from a complete-systems provider proficient in understanding complete vehicle systems and outstanding expertise in system integration built up over many years.
Direct from concept to series production
The novel platform on which the mila ev is based is a completely developed concept which can be used for production-vehicle development immediately and thus for series production in the shortest of time – as a genuine electric vehicle or, thanks to the intelligent design, with natural gas, fuel cells or hybrid drive.
1. No modification of classical vehicle concepts, but rather a functionally optimized platform for all vehicle features (weight, strength, NVH, crash, etc.)
2. Full flexibility and adaptability to the strategies, needs and designs of all OEMs.
3. The expertise advantage from Magna: one-stop provision from components to the complete vehicle, including a business model for production.
4. Cost advantage: common utilization by a variety of OEMs and/or for different drive versions means higher production runs and thus lower costs.
5. Magna Steyr as ideal manufacturing partner: with the well-proven Flex Plant concept, all versions can be made on one single production line.
Design and Engineering
The concept study of the mila ev, which will be presented in Geneva as show car, is a five-door version with a length of about 4 m and a wheelbase of 2.5 m. The rolling lines of the body provide for graceful esthetics. At the same time, the connecting line between headlights and side windows lends the vehicle a futuristic and elegant look. The lateral running sensor strip is at one and the same time design element, door opener and "fuel gauge" which shows, clearly visibly, the current battery charge.
Additionally, the integrated door opener is activated by an electronic key. The solar cells integrated in the glass roof serve as additional energy generation; the usually large wing mirrors of conventional vehicles have been replaced in mila ev by aerodynamic reverse-view cameras.
The mila ev is driven by a 67 hp electric motor supplied by one of the lithium-ion batteries developed by Magna Steyr. At an average charging time of 2.5 hours, ranges of up to 150 km can be achieved.