• May 28th 2010 at 12:48PM
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Ford Focus Electric battery packs – Click above for high-res image gallery

Magna International has decided that it will invest between $400 million and $600 million in lithium ion battery production over the next three years. The Canadian auto parts supplier will build two production facilities, one in Europe and one in North America, to supply the battery packs for future plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles.

Magna has set up a partnership with South Korean battery maker Kokam to share technology and has also purchased a 13 percent stake in Lithium Americas Corp. That latter deal will allow Magna to purchase up to 25 percent of the lithium produced by that company at a five percent discount from market prices.

Magna is currently working with Ford on development and production of the 2012 Focus Electric. In Europe, the supplier has contracts with Daimler and with the powertrain division of the Volvo truck business for plug-in development.

[Source: Globe and Mail]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Whoop whoop. The more the merrier.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Definitely, suppliers like Magna are positioned to lead the way towards the electrification of the entire Auto industry. Good on them.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes. The more the merrier when it comes to factories making every component of electric vehicles! The auto industry will eventually make the cars we want to buy if we stop buying their gas guzzling crap boxes.

        Put your money to work and buy an electric vehicle if you can.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yep this is the news that really matters. More often than not the headlines are about company abc making xyz EV. But, as you surely know, affordable batteries are the key ingredient to EV proliferation!
      • 5 Years Ago
      We have to wait and see FORD Pricing.
      The way they price their Hybrid's does not give me hope this solution will be affordable.

      I predict FORD will stay a 4th tier player in hybrids and Electric vehicles.
      [ Nissan has nothing to worry about. ]
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is the REAL infrastructure we need for EVs.

      Just keep building more and more manufacturing capacity on all fronts like this and prices will come down and the momentum we need to succeed is gaining quickly.

      No new tech can succeed long term without this whether it be BEVs, FCVs, biofuels, whatever. This is the real key to making this all go.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Hopefully modernizing our grid and investing in renewables will follow.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's good, but Magna's potential investment "could begin in 2013", so it's a bit late to allow Ford to make the Focus Electric in vast quantities as a real response to the Leaf.

      I wonder what vehicle Magna's contract with Daimler is for.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Anyone would think that using batteries for automotive propulsion is not as much of a stupid idea as we've been led to believe for the past 110 years. When companies are investing big money in mass production facilities (not just R&D) it's very encouraging!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Mass production is the key phrase there. Nobody has tried it yet.

        So much will change over the next 5 years or so it's going to be positively exciting. If you're a proponent of electric vehicles especially.

        With that in mind I welcome Magna to the ongoing effort to electrify our transportation. Hats off to ya.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Word! It's things like this that are shifting me over from the 'small, high tech ICE' camp over to the EV camp.

        Battery tech still has a ways to go, but drastically lower prices for it will give it an edge until we see 200+ mile EVs that are practical for daily use.

        EV tech has been on a roll lately. Seems as if the alternative energy complacency is truly over. Very exciting!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Critical Mass!

        Nothing happens without innovation... and innovation doesn't happen without investment. And investment doesn't happen until reward exceeds risk.

        100 years of batteries. But Oil has always been too cheap to warrant businesses to risk investment. Now, critical mass is upon us.
      • 5 Years Ago
      taking up your trunk space with battery packs = FALE.

      Nissan gets even more props now.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Misspelling fail = fail. (that made me laugh)

        I do agree with your point though, taking away the trunk space will only drive people towards EV's that don't sacrifice anything such as a Leaf or Volt. I think it goes to show that you just have to design an electric car with the batteries integrated from the start. If Ford is as smart as they look, they had better be working on a dedicated EV design or platform by now.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Spelling - / Making a good point +

        It's got to be a photo of one of the prototypes. That cannot be the final design. Echoing that it will be a boon for Leaf if they try to sell it like that.

        If the batteries are in the floor that lowers the center of gravity and gives outstanding road stability. Batteries in the trunk raises the center of gravity and causes potential handling problems. Bad idea.
        • 5 Years Ago
        VW seems to be having the same issue with trying to cram batteries into an existing design.
        Even some of the Nissan/Renault models like the Twingo are likely to suffer.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Adding batteries to an existing design instead of crating a dedicated platform for an EV is essentially a financial decision. The Volt/Leaf approach is vastly more expensive and risky than the Ford approach shown here. Yes, there is more of a potential payoff if it sells well, but you can hardly complain about the automakers showing caution, especially the US domestics with their recent near-deaqth experiences. I applaud Nissan & GM for it's commitment and dedication to these programs, but I bet if they hadn't been well underway when the economy crashed, it would never have happened on a dedicated platform.
        This approach Ford is showing here - common platform with their ICE cars - is likely the only prudent choice open to them, given where (and when) thay're starting.
        • 5 Years Ago
        FALE = fail
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's going to be the case whenever retro-fitting an existing model. Automakers (like Nissan) who design a new car around the batteries will have a more compelling product and are likely to win market share over automakers (like Ford) who are putting less effort into their BEVs.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree with the trunk space usage being a deal killer. I am hoping it is just the mule and the real Ford Focus would be better designed. I saw pictures of the 2012 Focus that Leno had and it had the same problem.
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