Finnish firms announce electric car plans

August 6, 2009
The Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid car pictured at the Washington Auto Show in Washington, DC in February 2009. Finland's Valmet Automotive will start making Karma hybrid cars for the US-based Fisker Automotive at the end of 2009.

Finnish engineering company Metso's unit Valmet Automotive and utility Fortum said Thursday they will jointly develop an electric concept car to be shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2010.

The companies said they would not launch a new electric car brand, but planned to develop new technology and build a concept car for four people that could be driven for up to 160 kilometres (99 miles) with one charge.

"Valmet Automotive is not introducing its own electric car brand; instead, the idea is to create new solutions as a part of our service offering," the head of the unit Ilpo Korhonen said in a statement.

The utility Fortum will bring its know-how on recharging to the project.

Currently Valmet Automotive is building in Uusikaupunki -- some 230 kilometres northwest of the capital Helsinki -- Boxter and Cayman for German Porsche and electric golf cars for Denmark's Garia.

By the end of this year it will also start making Karma for the US-based Fisker Automotive.

(c) 2009 AFP

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