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Michelin to Jointly Develop Electric Powertrains

Michelin has reportedly teamed up with a Chinese company to jointly develop electric powertrains.

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Information published in Europe indicates that the French firm has signed an agreement with battery material supplier CITIC Guoan Mengguli (MGL) to develop electric powertrain systems for electric vehicles and plug in hybrids. The system will integrate Michelin’s active wheel technology with lithium ion batteries from MGL, and the two companies will jointly develop controllers for the system.

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"The electric power train system with Michelin’s active wheels can be supplied to automakers in China by the year end," MGL general manager Qi Lu said. Qi predicts that future demand for the electric power train system will mainly come from overseas.

Michelin and MGL have developed an electric car fitted with the system, based on a small Chinese produced vehicle known as the Lifan 520. The car has a maximum speed of 87 mph (140 km/h) and can travel between 62 and 81 miles (100 and 130 km) with a full recharge. It takes four hours to fully recharge the batteries, which can be recharged approximately 1,000 times.

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MGL operates a battery factory in Beijing, and another is under construction and will enter full-scale production in 2009. Qi says the new facility will be able to supply batteries to 18,000 electric cars a year. (Tyres & Accessories/Staffordshire, U.K.)

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