Canadian electric vehicle maker Zenn has been pretty clear in press interviews about its future plans with stealthy energy storage firm EEStor. Back in September Zenn said it planned to ditch its previous car manufacturing business in order to act as a supplier to the auto industry using the EEStor drive train. Today Zenn makes that official and puts a date on the calendar — Zenn says it will stop manufacturing its own car by April 30, 2010.
Zenn says the move represents “turning the page” in the evolution of its company. As we, and others, have noted, the strategy means that Zenn has placed its entire fortunes on the promises of EEStor, a plan that’s filled with risks and uncertainties. Now Zenn has to play “the same waiting game as everybody else,” as Zenn CEO Ian Clifford has described it, until the first commercial unit from EEStor is available. EEStor and Zenn say that will happen before the end of the year (yep, just weeks until that deadline).
In the release that Zenn put out today, it also described a more explicit explanation of its exclusive and non-exclusive license deal with EEStor. Zenn says it has exclusive rights to sell EEStor technology for vehicles under 1,400 kilograms, for neighborhood electric vehicles and golf carts with a max speed of 30 miles per hour, and for aftermarket conversions. SUVs, pickups, trucks, trams, buses or “high-performance sports cars with electric drive systems of 100 continuous kilowatts or higher,” are not included in the exclusive deal. That arrangement is a lot more selective than I had previously thought.