While the 2014 Chevrolet Equinox may offer the eAssist hybrid system, there's now word that the Detroit giant has already built a nine-strong all-electric demonstration fleet of its super-popular crossover. Calling on the E-Car Systems unit of Magna to do the technological heavy lifting – the same folks who helped Ford develop its Focus Electric – and with a little financial help from the Ontario government, the project is intended to give both GM and Magna some insight into how vehicles in this larger segment perform with an electric drivetrain.

The E-Car Systems setup uses an electric motor capable of producing a peak 105 kWs (140.8 horsepower). The energy to spin that motor comes from a 33-kWh battery pack which we guesstimate might be good for 100 miles on a relaxed driving cycle. For the companies involved, guessing isn't good enough though, and one of the aims of the exercise is to establish reliable range figures.

We hope to get more details about how these electric Equinoxes perform and when we do, we will, of course, pass them along to you. The official press release awaits after the break. If an electric Equinox sounds familiar, then perhaps you're thinking of the conversions done by Amp.
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PRESS RELEASE

Magna E-Car Systems Launches Demonstration Fleet of Electric Chevrolet Equinoxes

AURORA, ONTARIO, Canada, November 17, 2011 – Magna E-Car Systems announced today that it has developed a demonstration fleet of nine electric vehicles based on the popular Chevrolet Equinox crossover. The demonstration project, undertaken jointly with General Motors (GM) and with assistance to Magna E-Car Systems from an Ontario government grant, will enable Magna E-Car Systems and GM to gain critical insight into the performance of electric vehicles in a larger crossover segment. The project involves the integration of Magna E-Car Systems' innovative electric drive system into the fleet of Equinoxes.

"Collaboration between automakers, suppliers, utility companies and the government is essential in order to develop solutions for future mobility," said Ted Robertson, Vice Chairman, Magna E-Car Systems. "Such collaboration can enhance innovation and reduce costs, particularly in fleet projects such as this where the resulting data and lessons learned are useful to all participants."

A joint GM-Magna E-Car Systems team has designed and built the Chevrolet Equinox Electric Vehicle (EV) demonstration units, working collaboratively from GM's Canadian Engineering Centre in Oshawa, Ontario, and Magna E-Car System's facility in Aurora, Ontario. The Equinox EV fleet is propelled by Magna E-Car Systems' electric drive system, which features an electric motor that generates maximum power of 105 kW with energy supplied from a 33kWh battery pack. The demonstration fleet will be monitored closely to determine the amount of real-world range achievable by a vehicle of this size. Magna E-Car Systems led the design and vehicle integration of the propulsion and energy storage systems, with GM Canada providing engineering assistance in designing and validating the solution.

"This demonstration project is the latest example of GM's commitment to broaden our vehicle electrification technology expertise working with a leading Canadian supplier, like Magna E-Car Systems," said Matthew Crossley, Director, Canadian Engineering for General Motors of Canada Limited. "This pilot project will help both GM and Magna E-Car Systems gather key learnings about the integration of vehicle electrification technologies."

In addition to the launch of the award-winning Chevrolet Volt and Opel Ampera electric vehicles with extended-range capability of up to 580 kilometres, General Motors is committed to delivering a range of advanced propulsion technologies solutions that will allow customers to choose the vehicle that best meets their needs. As a result, GM has established electric vehicle demonstration fleets around the world to better understand driving patterns, battery charging, market needs and customer acceptance of electric vehicles. Chevrolet recently announced production plans for a 2013 Spark EV, which will be available in select markets.

At the same time, GM is investing in start-up companies with innovative ideas to accelerate next-generation electrification technologies. Deep experience and expertise in batteries, electric motors and power controls will ensure GM provides the best possible choices when it comes to vehicle electrification technologies.

About Magna E-Car Systems
Magna E-Car Systems (www.magnaecar.com), a partnership between Magna International and the Stronach Group, is a global supplier of components and systems for hybrid and electric vehicles. Magna E-Car capabilities include design and engineering, manufacturing, vehicle integration and testing. With a focus on innovation, Magna E-Car offers a wide array of products including lithium-ion cells and battery packs, electric drive motors and generators, inverters, converters, onboard chargers, and powertrain control modules.

About Magna International
Magna International (TSX: MG; NYSE: MGA) is the most diversified global automotive supplier. Magna designs, develops and manufactures technologically advanced automotive systems, assemblies, modules and components, and engineers and assembles complete vehicles, primarily for sale to original equipment manufacturers ("OEMs") of cars and light trucks. Magna's capabilities include the design, engineering, testing and manufacture of automotive interior systems; seating systems; closure systems; body and chassis systems; vision systems; electronic systems; exterior systems; powertrain systems; roof systems; hybrid and electric vehicles/systems; as well as complete vehicle engineering and assembly.

Magna has approximately 107,000 employees in 275 manufacturing operations and 85 product development, engineering and sales centres in 26 countries. More information on Magna can be found at www.magna.com.

About General Motors
General Motors Company (NYSE: GM, TSX: GMM), one of the world's largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 209,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in more than 120 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 31 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Baojun, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall, and Wuling. GM's largest national market is China, followed by the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Italy, Russia, Mexico, and Uzbekistan. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. General Motors acquired operations from General Motors Corporation on July 10, 2009, and references to prior periods in this and other press materials refer to operations of the old General Motors Corporation. More information on the new General Motors can be found at www.gm.com.

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THIS RELEASE MAY CONTAIN STATEMENTS WHICH CONSTITUTE "FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS" UNDER APPLICABLE SECURITIES LEGISLATION AND ARE SUBJECT TO, AND EXPRESSLY QUALIFIED BY, THE CAUTIONARY DISCLAIMERS THAT ARE SET OUT IN MAGNA'S REGULATORY FILINGS. PLEASE REFER TO MAGNA'S MOST CURRENT MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF RESULTS OF OPERATIONS AND FINANCIAL POSITION, ANNUAL INFORMATION FORM AND ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 40-F, AS REPLACED OR UPDATED BY ANY OF MAGNA'S SUBSEQUENT REGULATORY FILINGS, WHICH SET OUT THE CAUTIONARY DISCLAIMERS, INCLUDING THE RISK FACTORS THAT COULD CAUSE ACTUAL EVENTS TO DIFFER MATERIALLY FROM THOSE INDICATED BY SUCH FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS. THESE DOCUMENTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW ON MAGNA'S WEBSITE AT WWW.MAGNA.COM.


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