March 10, 2009 As part of the BMW Project i electric car program, Magna, the company that will be building the Ford Focus EV in 2011, has presented the MILA EV at the Geneva Motor Show 2009. Where most mass production electric vehicles announced to date are retrofitted or converted versions of existing vehicles, the Mila has been designed without compromise as a fully integrated electric vehicle platform.

The Mila EV concept is a five-door body built on a modular powertrain system driven by a 50 Kw (67 hp) electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery pack developed by Magna Steyr. A charge time of 2.5 hours gives a range of up to 150 km (94 miles).

Solar cells integrated in the glass roof serve as additional energy generation. To improve aerodynamics reverse-view cameras have replaced the usually large wing mirrors of conventional vehicles and an electronic key activates the integrated door opener.

Magna is working with BMW to explore electric car technology and hopes other manufacturers will buy its electric platform as an off-the-shelf base for their own vehicles to help them reach series production in the shortest time possible.

Paul Evans