Japan Post Van - click to enlarge

Ener1 this morning announced a new partnership with Nissan Motor Company to research and develop "a new generation of electrical conductive material intended to reduce cost and improve the performance of electric and hybrid vehicle batteries." Basically, they're looking for a new electrolyte. Ener1 subsidiary EnerDel and Nissan will pay for the research that will be done at the Argonne National Lab in Chicago. The deal has been under discussion for the past year, said Charles Gassenheimer, the Ener1 CEO and Chairman.

Ener1 also recently announced it would expand its work with Th!nk through a new fully integrated electric drivetrain. Th!nk developed the technology and chose Ener1 as the sole supplier of the lithium-ion battery technology used in the powertrain. Unlike the Nissan deal, which will soon start in a lab, the new powertrain will soon be tested in vans used by the Japanese postal service in Kaganawa and Tokyo prefectures. The Japanese mail service wants to convert its fleet of 22,000 delivery vehilce to electric drive. Press releases available after the jump.

[Source: Ener1]




PRESS RELEASES:

Lithium-Ion Battery Maker EnerDel Teams With Nissan to Research Key Electric Vehicle Battery Material

Research to be Centered at Argonne National Lab in Chicago

(Indianapolis – July 30, 2009) Advanced lithium-ion automotive battery producer EnerDel and the Nissan Motor Co. of Japan are teaming up to research a new generation of electrical conductive material intended to reduce cost and improve the performance of electric and hybrid vehicle batteries.

"This project is about continuing the evolution of a critical technology," said Charles Gassenheimer, CEO and Chairman of EnerDel parent company Ener1, Inc. (NASDAQ: HEV). "Nissan is one of the leading companies driving the electric market today. Over 12 months of discussions on this effort, our management and technical teams have had a tremendous opportunity to get know one another. We are looking forward to successful realization of this project's important goals."

EnerDel recently cut the ribbon one of the most advanced battery production lines in the world at its Indianapolis plant. The facility is currently the only U.S. domestic manufacturing facilities for automotive lithium-ion batteries.

Under an R&D agreement signed today, EnerDel and Nissan will co-fund research of a new electrolyte, a viscous liquid that serves as the essential conductive material between battery electrodes, at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) outside Chicago. EnerDel and Argonne recently cooperated on the development of the lithium titanate battery chemistry, for which they shared the prestigious R&D 100 Award for excellence in technology and innovative design from R&D Magazine, and an Excellence in Technology Transfer award.

"Argonne and EnerDel have been working successfully together for years to advance electric drive in the U.S.," said Dr. Al Sattelberger of Associate Lab Director of ANL. "Our partnership symbolizes how the best and brightest minds in America can work hand in hand with captains of industry to create best-in-class technology solutions."

"We are pleased to pursue another breakthrough technology working with the leading national lab in the U.S. for transportation and one of the world's most technologically innovative car companies," said EnerDel Chief Operating Officer Naoki Ota. "This is an opportunity to make a major new contribution to the future of electric drive in the U.S. and to forge a closer relationship with a major global car maker."

About EnerDel:

EnerDel, a subsidiary of Ener1, Inc. (NASDAQ: HEV), develops and manufactures compact, high performance lithium‐ion batteries to power the next generation of hybrid, plug‐in hybrid and pure electric vehicles. Led by an experienced team of engineers and energy system experts, the company is building proprietary innovations based on technology originally pioneered at the Argonne National Laboratory.

EnerDel produces its batteries at its state‐of‐the‐art facilities in Indianapolis, Indiana, and is expecting to be the first company to mass‐produce a cost‐competitive lithium‐ion battery for hybrid and electric vehicles. In addition to the automobile market, applications for EnerDel lithium‐ion battery technology include medical, military, aerospace, electric utility and other growing markets.

About Argonne National Laboratory:

The U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation's first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America's scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.

Safe Harbor Statement:

Certain statements made in this press release constitute forward-looking statements that are based on management's expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions. Words such as "expects," "anticipates," "plans," "believes," "scheduled," "estimates" and variations of these words and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks and uncertainties, which are difficult to predict. Therefore, actual future results and trends may differ materially from what is forecast in forward-looking statements due to a variety of factors. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release and the company does not undertake any obligation to update or publicly release any revisions to forward-looking statements to reflect events, circumstances or changes in expectations after the date of this press release.

TH!NK AND ENER1 LAUNCH NEW JOINT BUSINESS STREAM – ELECTRIC VEHICLE DRIVETRAIN SUPPLY

* TH!NK develops a fully integrated electric drive-train system
* ENER1 chosen to sole supply lithium-ion battery technology
* Japanese postal service signs up to take first batch of test platforms

New York, USA, 28 July 2009 – The first integrated electric vehicle (EV) drive-train of its kind has been developed by TH!NK (the pioneering Norwegian EV manufacturer), with EnerDel (the US-based lithium-ion battery subsidiary of NASDAQ listed ENER1) being the sole supplier of its industry-leading lithium-ion battery technology.

The drive-train is available for supply around the world thanks to its simple modular structure and easily transferable package. The first major potential customer to come forward is the Japanese postal service – which is aiming to fully electrify its 22,000 strong fleet of delivery vehicles.

Japanese vehicle conversion specialist, Zero Sports, has been selected by Japan Post as conversion partners to the electrification project, who, via strategic partners ITOCHU, are using ENER1's lithium-ion battery technology together with TH!NK's electric drive-train system to start the conversion process of the postal service's sizeable fleet of delivery vehicles.

Initially developed for the TH!NK City EV, this system is the first of its kind to provide off-the-shelf availability combined with bespoke performance in a wide variety of EV applications. The system has been promoted to large vehicle manufacturers and fleet operators around the world, and the Japanese postal service is the first to agree to a comprehensive road test programme in the Kaganawa and Tokyo prefectures.

The new technology drive-train being utilised for this programme unites TH!NK's industry-leading EV drive system with EnerDel's award winning lithium-ion battery technology. TH!NK and ENER1 began an active partnership in 2007 with ENER1's development of a 26 kWh battery system for the TH!NK City vehicle – the first pure electric vehicle of its kind to use this new generation technology.

"The ability to deliver a fully integrated, road-ready package that can be quickly tailored to suit a wide range of vehicle solutions is a major step forward for both our companies," said Ener1 Chairman and CEO Charles Gassenheimer.

TH!NK CEO, Richard Canny added: "We have seen increased interest in TH!NK's proprietary EV drive system from a variety of third parties, which represents a significant and exciting new business line and revenue opportunity for the company."

Asia has long pioneered the future of electric drive vehicles, and Japan in particular has been a global leader in advancing its adoption, with the government increasingly pushing to accelerate market and infrastructure development for electric drive vehicles.

Richard Canny concluded: "We are honoured to be working on such a prestigious project, and excited to be exporting TH!NK's Norwegian-designed and built proprietary drive-train system in partnership with ENER1 and its US-designed and manufactured lithium-ion battery technology. This has become a truly global and pioneering enterprise – lead by Norway, the USA and now Japan as well."

ENDS

About TH!NK:
TH!NK was established in Norway in 1991 and designs, develops, manufactures and markets environmentally friendly vehicles and technologies designed to be smart, flexible and to deliver state-of-the-art and safe urban mobility solutions. The TH!NK City is the company's latest generation EV, and offers a range of 180km per charge and a top speed of 100 km/h.

About Ener1, Inc.:
Ener1 develops and manufactures compact, high performance lithium-ion batteries to power the next generation of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric vehicles. The publicly traded company (NASDAQ: HEV) is led by an experienced team of engineers and energy system experts at its EnerDel subsidiary located in Indiana. In addition to the automobile market, applications for Ener1 lithium-ion battery technology include the military, grid storage and other growing markets.

Ener1 also develops commercial fuel cell products through its EnerFuel subsidiary and nanotechnology-based materials and manufacturing processes for batteries and other applications through its NanoEner subsidiary
.




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