• Oct 17th 2007 at 8:04AM
  • 8
Last spring, Tesla Motors founder Martin Eberhard and Th!ink CEO Jan-Olaf Willums announced a deal for Tesla to supply battery packs for the Norwegian electric cars. The silicon valley startup had created a new division dubbed the Tesla Energy Group to design and build lithium ion battery packs to other car-makers. The packs would be based on the technology they had developed internally for their own cars. Once new CEO Michael Marks came on board and it became clear that the Roadster's production would be delayed, the decision to pull back on the battery business was the next obvious move.
In recent days it became known that Th!nk
was looking for other battery suppliers.
Since then, Th!nk has announced a deal for EnerDel to supply packs beginning next spring. The Norwegian company is also talking to other potential suppliers such as Massachusetts based A123 Systems. All of this probably means that production Th!nks probably won't appear until at least late 2008. Once the Roadsters are on the road then, Tesla will revisit the battery sales program.

[Source: CNET]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      I feel like battery technology is the new electronics. Even if Tesla's battery was state-of-the-art about a year ago, there are probably better options available even now.

      So while Tesla, being first to pick a technology may be at a disadvantage in that respect, companies will have to be on their toes to have top notch energy storage with each product update. I suspect a small company like Tesla can react faster than large behemoths can (witness Toyota and their Panasonic trouble).
      • 7 Months Ago
      "As a result[ of Tesla Energy Group's delay}, Think has been lining up alternative battery suppliers. A deal with EnerDel was announced yesterday. EnerDel will be the "supplier of choice" for Think."

      Umm...isn't Tesla just providing the battery managemnet system (ESS) not the batteries?
      Or maybe they're done with Tesla because they're looking for batteries that don't need an ESS?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm not sure why Tesla would be in the battery pack supply market anyway. They had to create their own from commodity parts and then recently had to redesign it and increase it in weight 25% to increase the safety of it.

      In other words, they aren't exactly at the core of the battery business, they seem more like a battery customer than a supplier. And having to buy the individual cells from suppliers anyway, they're really just a repackager. That means they'll never be able to compete on price with companies that have their own plants or at least contracts with plants to make cells directly for them.

      As others have noted, this will give Tesla more resources to connect to their core business, which is a good thing.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Good decision on Tesla's part. The hundreds of people waiting for their Roadster will appreciate the increased focus.

      phil easler: Think seems to be mainly focusing on Europe right now. With the relatively low gas prices in the U.S., I don't think there's enough of a market for the severely overpriced Think cars to justify the cost of entry.
      • 7 Months Ago
      When the above article states Think! won't be out (in production) until late 2008, does that mean out in Norway, UK, or the USA? What's a guestimation of when Think! might be here (USA) for the average Joe to order, 3rd quarter of 2010?

      thanks, Phil
      • 7 Months Ago
      Joseph: My impression is that Tesla was to provide full ESS systems plus the batteries contained within (which, Tesla would describe as an integral part of the ESS). Obviously, the Think ESSes would be smaller, but functionally similar to the ones found in the full Tesla Roadster.

      I don't think Think left voluntarily: they were forced to when Tesla CEO Michal Marks suspended the Tesla Energy Group to maintain company focus on Roadster production.
      • 7 Months Ago
      I guess they can start selling the Th!ink City on schedule, but with Zebra batteries.
      • 7 Months Ago
      "As a result[ of Tesla Energy Group's delay}, Think has been lining up alternative battery suppliers. A deal with EnerDel was announced yesterday. EnerDel will be the "supplier of choice" for Think."

      Umm...isn't Tesla just providing the battery managemnet system (ESS) not the batteries?
      Or maybe they're done with Tesla because they're looking for batteries that don't need an ESS?