Austrian firm Magna Steyr has been designing and producing automotive parts for the better part of a century. While its past products may have been revolutionary for their time, Magna Steyr’s mila ev concept visually articulates the future of eco-friendly automobiles. The mila ev concept was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show last week as part of Magna Steyr’s presentation. Magna Steyr will work with unnamed partners to add its EV platform to auto designs that can integrate natural gas, solar or fuel cells with an electric power system.
The mila ev concept is a five-door coupe that is akin to the Toyota Prius in terms of exterior design. Under the hood, Magna Steyr added a 67-horsepower electric motor powered by a lithium ion battery pack to eliminate tailpipe emissions. The company’s presentation at Geneva stated that the mila ev concept can recharge within three hours using a standard electrical outlet. Once the vehicle is fully charged, a driver can travel up to 93 miles before plugging in again.
Magna Steyr installed a number of nifty features on the mila ev concept that blend form and function. The ceiling has a series of solar panels used to collect energy for windshield wipers, the stereo and other secondary functions. The mila ev features a set of rearview cameras rather than clunky mirrors to reduce drag at higher speeds. Magna Steyr added a sensor strip running across the driver’s side door, allowing the driver to open the door electronically and review charge levels before hitting the road.
The mila ev concept may be years off from reaching the production stage but Magna Steyr is working with Ford as the company tries to burnish its green vehicle credentials. Magna will offer its lithium-ion battery, transmission and battery charger to Ford during the development of a battery-electric sedan slated for 2011. Magna Steyr’s reputation among industry leaders like Ford means that it has developed the technology needed to produce durable EVs. The lingering question is whether Magna Steyr will be able to make its mark by getting the mila ev concept into production in the near future. If the Austrian parts giant can get some iteration of their concept EV to market, Magna Steyr may become synonymous with hybrid and all-electric technology in the eyes of the public.