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.