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New transmission technology will open market for large electric vehicles

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You don't see many electric-powered sedans, sport utility vehicles or pick-up trucks rolling off assembly lines: bigger vehicles require bigger batteries and bigger electric motors that make them heavier and more expensive to manufacture.

It's a lucrative, untapped market that three Canadian automotive suppliers plan to aggressively target with a new, multi-speed drive train being developed in partnership with McGill University that increases efficiency, vehicle speed, and driving range without drawing more battery power.

The three-year project received $4.7 million from Automotive Partnership Canada to combine electric motor technology from TM4 Electrodynamic Systems of Boucherville, Quebec, with a multi-speed drive train from Linamar Corp.—a supplier in Guelph, Ontario.

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