UAE Company Buys 40% in Electric Car Maker

Heuliez Electric is developing a three-seater car called Friendly, set to go on general sale by 2012.

Midex Airlines, a freight carrier based in the United Arab Emirates, has bought 40% in Heuliez Electric, a French maker of electric cars, for $100 million, the airline said on Nov. 18.

Midex Airlines director general Jassim Albastaki said that talks with Heuliez Electric, a subsidiary of French engineering company Heuliez, started in May and the agreement was sealed on Nov. 17 on the sidelines of the Dubai Airshow.

Midex will get exclusive marketing franchise for the environment-friendly vehicles produced by Heuliez Electric in the Middle East, including Iran, and in India, Albastaki said.

Although Midex Airlines specialises in air cargo transport, Albastaki said its investment in Heuliez Electric is a way of "diversifying sources of revenues".

Midex Airlines was established in 2007 and started operations in 2008 from al-Ain Airport. It suspended scheduled flights this year due to a drop in airfreight business and now operates only charter flights.

Heuliez is developing a three-seater car called Friendly, set to go on general sale by 2012. The company says the vehicle will be able to travel up to 250 kilometers (155 miles) after one charge.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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