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PHOTO CAPTION: Ford, Magna International prototype battery electric car.

LA Times' Dan Neil 'Press-ganged' to See Ford Electric Car

Ford, Magna International anticipate 2011 roll-out of co-developed battery electric car.

Published: 17-Jan-2009

Strolling innocently through Cobo Hall, I was suddenly abducted by a gang of well-meaning Ford PR flaks and Magna representatives. Their motive: To get me to drive the early prototype of Ford's Focus-based battery electric vehicle (BEV), on which Ford and Magna will be technology partners.

A couple of reporting notes: Program Chief Engineer Dick DeVogelaere said that Ford and Magna will commit to building the vehicle's batteries in North America, most likely in Michigan or Canada. (Magna's U.S. headquarters are in Troy, Mich.) This follows GM's announcement on Sunday that it will build a battery-assembly plant in southeast Michigan.

The BEV will be a C-class, that is midsize, car, but it may not be fitted to the highly anticipated European version of the Focus. The BEV may be based on a dedicated platform.

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