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Summary:

Things just got a little cozier between Norwegian electric car company Think and one of its U.S. investors, Ener1. EnerDel, the battery-making subsidiary of Ener1, already had a major contract with Think to supply batteries for the company’s electric City model, as well as “supplier of […]

Things just got a little cozier between Norwegian electric car company Think and one of its U.S. investors, Ener1. EnerDel, the battery-making subsidiary of Ener1, already had a major contract with Think to supply batteries for the company’s electric City model, as well as “supplier of choice” status. Now, in a press conference at the Washington Auto Show, Think has named EnerDel the exclusive battery supplier for Think City vehicles sold in the U.S. through 2012.

The automaker, which hopes to secure funding from the Department of Energy to set up manufacturing in the U.S., also announced a new partnership today with AeroVironment to work on fast charging for the Think City. AeroVironment, which provides charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, will work with Think under the agreement on demonstration and commercial projects using AeroVironment’s Level 3 charging system (chargers are classified as Level 1, 2 or 3 based on how much power they can provide).

The Department of Energy says a charger is deemed “fast” if it can “charge an average electric vehicle battery pack in 30 minutes or less.” According to Think, the AeroVironment system will juice its City batteries up to an 80 percent charge in as little as 15 minutes.

This type of high-voltage rapid charging system will be critically important, Nissan’s Mark Perry said last year, for what he calls “destination” and “pathway” charging, at shopping centers and along major roadways, for example. The idea is that if you’re charging at home overnight or at work during the day, the high-voltage quick fix isn’t as necessary. But AeroVironment and Think plan to offer the fast-charge option as “a supplementary alternative for customers’ added sense of security and for fleets with daily mileage requirements exceeding the car’s range.”

Today’s deal with Think comes on the heels of AeroVironment winning a contract with Nissan to provide home charging equipment and installations for the upcoming Nissan LEAF, announced earlier this month. AeroVironment spokesperson Steven Gitlin told the Los Angeles Business Journal at the time that the deal was a first for AeroVironment in the home charging space. “We’ve been working on electric vehicle technology for 20 years,” he said, “but are now ready to start seeing it used widely in homes.” As in the Nissan deal, AeroVironment’s charging systems for the Think City will be sold separately from the vehicle.

The exclusive battery deal highlights a difference between Think’s strategy in the U.S. and in the European market, where it offers customers two battery options: EnerDel’s lithium-ion battery, and a sodium-based battery made by Switzerland’s Mes-Dea and designed for use in very hot or very cold climates. According to Think’s announcement today, EnerDel will supply about 60 percent of the batteries for City vehicles sold in Europe.

  1. Whow. Just a couple of weeks ago we were reporting at Green Energy Reporter that A123 Systems snatched a contract with car maker Fisker from Ener1, which it lost because it was unable to meet specific deadline.http://greenenergyreporter.com/2010/01/a123-systems-invests-23-million-for-stake-in-green-car-maker-fisker-karma/

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  2. That is amazing. I actually never thought that a fast charging electric vehicle would be possible. Tie this invention in with a megawatt wind turbine and you could charge a whole fleet in a lunch break. Good article, great invention.

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  3. [...] in Indiana, Ener1 holds a 31 percent stake in electric vehicle maker Think, which has made EnerDel the exclusive battery supplier for its electric two-seater in the U.S., slated to launch later this [...]

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  4. [...] to Ener1′s earnings statement today, the company — whose subsidiary EnerDel is the exclusive battery supplier for any Think’s City vehicles sold in the U.S. through 2012 — agreed last week to buy some 7.5 million shares of Series B stock from Think for [...]

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  5. [...] 24.5 kWh lithium ion batteries from Ener1 subsidiary EnerDel. [...]

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  6. [...] 24.5 kWh lithium ion batteries from Ener1 subsidiary EnerDel. Range: 160 km (~99.4 mi) in Europe’s ECE-R101 drive cycle. 112 mi for the U.S. market. Charge [...]

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