Want one of the all-electric Th!nk City cars powered by a lithium-ion battery? You're one step closer today than yesterday thanks to an announcement by EnerDel, the battery division of Ener1, that it has delivered the first mechanical prototype of the lithium-ion battery pack to Th!nk for form and fit evaluation. Even though Th!nk Citys are popping up in Paris and London, the pack is being tested in a City that is at EnerDel's Indianapolis facility in a car that was delivered last week.

With all of the problems the electric car companies have, it's kind of rare to see li-ion technology moves that happen on schedule. Last October, the two companies said Ener1 would deliver production prototypes to Th!nk in March 2008. Tests will continue until the end of April and EnerDel said in a statement (available after the break) that it expects to have its battery pack operating in the Th!nk City by the end of the year. We'll be waiting for a test drive and reports from customers before we call this a success, but I think this calls for at least a little bit of hope, no?



Press Release:

ENERDEL PROVIDES MARKET UPDATE ON THINK GLOBAL SUPPLY AGREEMENT

Indianapolis, IN (April 1, 2008) – EnerDel, the advanced automotive battery systems division of alternative energy company Ener1, Inc. (OTCBB: ENEI), today announced its progress toward meeting the lithium-ion battery system deliverables schedule under a supply contract with Think Global.

EnerDel has delivered the first mechanical prototype of the lithium-ion battery pack for the new TH!NK City vehicle for form and fit evaluation. The pack has been installed in a sample vehicle, which the Norwegian company delivered to EnerDel's Indianapolis facility last week.

Through the end of April, EnerDel will deliver additional functional prototype packs that will be tested at EnerDel, evaluated in the sample electric vehicle, and undergo third-party performance assessment. Before the end of the first half of the year, EnerDel expects to have its electric vehicle battery pack operating in the TH!NK City. EnerDel is providing a total systems solution for the battery pack, including cells, electronics and vehicle integration.

"We have an aggressive time-to-market schedule for providing the lithium-ion battery solution for the world's leading electric vehicle," said EnerDel CEO Ulrik Grape. "The testing phase is now commencing and we are confident that we will provide production of the TH!NK City battery on schedule by the end of 2008."

"We are very pleased with the progress EnerDel and Think have made together on the lithium- ion battery solution," commented Think President and CEO Jan-Olaf Willums.

EnerDel is increasing capacity for volume production of the lithium-ion battery system for Think, including by tapping the company's close relationship with ITOCHU Corporation. As the global leader in the provision of automotive battery-making equipment, ITOCHU serves as a strategic partner of Ener1 for the development of manufacturing capacity. ITOCHU provided venture-round funding to Ener1 in 2003.

"Based on the size and scope of Think's aggressive business plan, battery manufacturing capacity is the crucial issue that we are tackling right now," said Ener1 Chairman Charles Gassenheimer. "Cooperation with ITOCHU will significantly contribute to scaling up production capacity to meet our Norwegian partner's battery demands."

About EnerDel EnerDel is owned by Ener1, Inc. (80.5%) and Delphi Corporation (19.5%). EnerDel has a production facility in Indianapolis, Indiana. EnerDel currently employs approximately 65 highly experienced engineers and technicians involved in the battery development of both cells and systems. For more information, please visit: www.enerdel.com

About Ener1, Inc. Ener1, Inc. (OTCBB: ENEI) is a demand-side alternative energy technology company that is developing 1) lithium-ion batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles (HEV, PHEV and EV) at its owned EnerDel subsidiary, 2) commercial fuel cell products through its EnerFuel subsidiary, and 3) nanotechnology-based materials and manufacturing processes for batteries and other applications at its NanoEner subsidiary. For more information, visit www.ener1.com and or call 954-556-4020.

About THINK Global Think designs, develops, manufactures and markets environmentally friendly vehicles and technologies. The company has more than 17 years of experience in developing and producing electric vehicles. Today, 1,200 TH!NKs are driving on Norwegian roads. The new TH!NK City is a fifth generation electrical vehicle assembled at Aurskog, Norway. Series production of the car started late last year and the first cars will be delivered to Norwegian customers. Later this year, the car will be launched in selected markets in Europe. The capacity of its first assembly plant in Aurskog outside Oslo, Norway is presently being increased to 10,000 cars per year, which Think expects to reach during 2009. Strong owners with visions and resources want to make Think the "car company of the 21st century". For more info: www.think.no.

[Source: EnerDell]

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