Norway-based Th!nk Electric Vehicles was bought by Ford during Ford's mid-nineties buying spree and sold off a couple of years ago. Th!nk is still around and is working on new electric vehicles. Enova Systems has that they are partnering with Th!nk to supply the power control units (PCU) for the new generation of Th!nk vehicles. Enova's PCU is used to step down, regulate and invert high voltage DC power from the battery to various levels for different systems on the vehicle. The Enova module distributes power to the drive system and other vehicle systems as well as sending power back to the battery from the regenerative braking system.
The new vehicle is different from the original Th!nk city car and was never fully developed under Ford ownership. Ford abandoned Th!nk because battery technology had not advanced to a sufficient degree to provide a commercially viable range. The company is now using the latest battery technology and expects a range of about 120 miles and a top speed of 60-65 mph. The Enova press release is after the jump.
Enova to Provide Power Control Units for Th!nk Electric Vehicles
TORRANCE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Enova Systems (AMEX:ENA) (AIM:ENV) (AIM:ENVS), an early stage production company in an emerging industry and a leading developer of proprietary electric, hybrid and fuel cell digital power management systems, is pleased to announce that it has partnered with Norwegian-based Inspire group and its newly acquired investment Think Group to provide Power Control Units (PCU) for the redesigned Th!nk Electric Vehicles. Enova's PCU is a critical component of the vehicle's power system, converting and regulating high voltage power to lower voltages where and as required. Enova's module transfers power throughout the drive system and the battery, and assists in energy recovery during regenerative braking. The source of propulsion power is therefore transparent to the driver, allowing him to concentrate on normal vehicle operation.
The aim is to prepare for the production and introduction of the new TH!NK City model which Ford Motor Company and Think developed while Ford Motor Company owned Think.
Think Global and its subsidiary Think Technology in Oslo, Norway, is a world leading competence centre for design, development, assembly and licensing of modular environmental friendly vehicles and technology. The second generation TH!NK City vehicle is a completely new experience that combines award-winning design with comfort and convenience features that make it a pleasure to drive.
The vehicle is a unique product that was never fully produced by under Ford into a production market. A primary reason that Ford withdrew from producing the vehicles was that the battery technology had not evolved enough such that the range of the vehicle was compromised. The new investor group has access to new and advanced technology which will be further developed and utilized to improve the vehicle, with particular emphasis on performance and driving range. The driving range is expected to be 180km, with a top speed of 100 - 110kph and a 0-50kph acceleration of seven (7) seconds.
Mike Staran, Enova's Vice President of Sales and Marketing, said: "Enova is very pleased that the Th!nk vehicle now has the technology to make it a viable production vehicle. We believe our technology will help support the vehicle's rapid acceptance throughout the world."
The interest for environment friendly transport and products is growing strongly in particular for use in cities and urban areas, not least due to high energy prices and a growing concern about the effect of conventional transport on the environment. Think has products that address these issues and will serve this growing international market. "Think is ready today and will succeed because we can draw on many years' practical experience with earlier models, and in the partnership with Ford, who invested its professional, manufacturing and quality competence in the car," stated Mr. Erik Skaarnes of Think's business group.
About InSpire Group:
InSpire recently invested in the Norwegian electric car manufacturer Think. Think produced one of the largest fleets of electric vehicles in the world with the TH!NK city, launched in 1999. A new model is now under development and will be launched in Norway in 2007 and selected international markets in 2008.
Think's mission is to create the most environmentally friendly vehicles in the world in a commercially successful way. InSpire will help them achieve this goal by developing a radically modern business model for producing, sourcing, marketing servicing and financing a car that meets the demands of a 21st century business. More information about Think can be found on www.think.no.
Enova Systems (http://www.enovasystems.com) is a leading supplier of efficient, environmentally friendly digital power components and systems products. The Company's core competencies are focused on the development and commercialization of power management and conversion systems for mobile applications. Enova applies unique 'enabling technologies' in the areas of alternative energy propulsion systems for light and heavy-duty vehicles as well as power conditioning and management systems for distributed generation systems. The Company develops, designs and produces non-invasive drive systems and related components for electric, hybrid-electric, and fuel cell powered vehicles in both the "new" and "retrofit" vehicle sales market. For further information, contact Enova Systems directly, or visit its Web site at http://www.enovasystems.com.
This news release contains forward-looking statements relating to Enova Systems and its products that are intended to be covered by the safe harbor for forward-looking statements provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. These statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "believe," "expect," "may," "will," "should," "could," "project," "plan," "seek," "intend," or "anticipate" or the negative thereof or comparable terminology and statements about industry trends and Enova's future performance, operations and products. These forward-looking statements are subject to and qualified by certain risks and uncertainties. These and other risks and uncertainties are detailed from time to time in Enova Systems' periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to Enova's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2005.