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A French court has granted coachbuilder and hopeful electric vehicle manufacturer Heuliez protection from its creditors for a period of six months. Right now, the company is working on a restructuring plan that would prove to the French government that it's worth an investment of 10 million euros (£8.8 million, $13 million U.S.), but those funds weren't granted in time for Heuliez to avoid insolvency.

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Last fall at the Paris Motor Show, auto parts supplier and part-time vehicle assembler Heuliez debuted an electric car called the Friendly. As of Thursday, the three-seat electric vehicles were made available for pre-order on the internet. Three different versions of the Friendly will be available, all sporting nickel metal hydride battery packs that offer a range of between 100 and 250 kilometers (60-155 miles). Starting price is 12,000 euros ($15,500 in the U.S.). A deposit of 10 euros reporte

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Introduced last fall during the Paris Motor Show, the Heuliez Friendly is a French electric car with promising and realistic intentions. Heuliez is known for making short series of cars (such as the Opel Tigra TwinTop) and the retractable tops of Peugeots, so it's not a total newcomer to the auto market. Le Blog Auto interviewed Cyril Lacroix, chief developer at Heuliez, and got all the details on where the Friendly is today. We already knew that it's going to use nickel metal hydride batteries

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French coachbuilder Heuliez, along with Michelin and Orange™, have brought with them to the 2008 Paris Motor Show a most unremarkable-looking car. (My apologies to fans of the Opel Agila) And that's the point. The WILL (pictured above) is meant to seem "familiar and friendly" even though its makers believe it is the embodiment of the future of automotive design. The technology that makes this claim plausible is the Michelin Active Wheel system which we previously saw on the Venturi Volage.

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