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French Government Bails Out Heuliez with €10M; €8M Targeted at EVs

France Industry Minister Christian Estrosi confirmed that, following he decision of the French Commercial Court to resume supplies and components from BGI, ConEnergy and Kohl, the French government will invest €10 million (US$12.4 million) to keep coach builder and contract manufacturer Heuliez from going under.

Of the €10 million, €8 million (US$10 million) will be loaned to support the development of electric vehicles.

Heuliez produces a limited run of vehicles for niche markets, including electric cars. Since 2006, the company has been financially struggling, and applied for protection from creditors in October 2007.

The government had planned to invest in the EV program in 2009, but refrained due to Heuliez’s earlier inability to guarantee commitments.

In 2008, Heuliez and Michelin unveiled the WILL, featuring Michelin’s Active Wheel, an in-wheel system comprising a brake, 30 kW (40 hp) electric traction motor and electric suspension motor system. (Earlier post.) Heuliez is currently taking orders for its mia electric city car.



Why Michelin couldn't help to finance Heuliez's EVs development using Michelin's in-wheel e-motors?


If you mean; 'Why DIDN'T Michelin help finance Heuliez's EVs development using Michelin's in-wheel e-motors?"
The answer is almost surely that they didn't want to (because they thought it an unsound investment).

I hope you don't mean; 'Why wasn't Michelin forced to help finance Heuliez's EVs development using Michelin's in-wheel e-motors?"


In that case, why did Michelin invest/spent $$M to develop the scalable in-wheel system in the first place? Are they impractical? Are more R & D and tests required? Is Michelin running out of cash or interest? Will they sell those wheels to others who could produce them at lower cost?

When mass produced, it could be a neat way to go from 2 WD to 4 WD electronically controlled e-drive system, on an as required basis. Acceleration + up-hill could be done with 4 WD and the rest with 2 WD. Such e-car could be propulsion and/or traction at will.

Protection against snow, water, dust etc could be added while making the wheels more aerodynamic.


The point is, the proper question is;

"Why didn't Michelin help finance Heuliez ?"

"Why couldn't Michelin help finance Heuliez ?"

Such "Why can't they" and "Why can they" questions usually imply a misunderstanding or denial of a free market and free society.

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