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Think CEO Richard Canny today introduced in detail the automaker's G4 electric-vehicle drive controller during a speech in Bilbao, Spain.
The G4 drive controller is the power electronics system that integrates the EV battery powering the … Continue reading
Norwegian electric vehicle builder Think has finally launched production of the lithium-ion battery version of its City EV. The 22 kilowatt-hour battery pack is being supplied by Indiana-based Enerdel which owns an equity stake in Think. Enerdel is now in full volume production of the new battery pack which, should allow Think to ramp up vehicle production and expand into continental Europe and then the United States later this year.
The lithium ion version of the City EV has a range of about 100 miles and supports fast charging to 80 percent of capacity in 15 minutes. The Think City EV is currently being built under contract by Valmet Automotive in Finland. Valmet will also be assembling the Fisker Karma starting early next year. Think also plans to add U.S. production of the City EV sometime in 2011.
After years of collaboration, American battery maker Ener1 and Scandinavian electric-vehicle maker Think announced today that the automaker's production City EV is now being fitted with Ener1's EnerDel lithium-ion battery system.
The EnerDel lithium-ion battery on the Think City production line at Valmet Automotive in Uusikaupunki, Finland.
The City's proprietary integrated electric drive-train, packing Ener1's dedicated 22-kilowatt/hour battery system, is already being tested by the Japan Postal Service as well as by Mazda.
Think CEO Richard Canny said in a statement that the automaker's adoption of Ener1's battery technology will allow Think "to scale up much more quickly in Europe and also be ready to enter the U.S. market later this year.
"The volume production of these batteries now underway at Ener1 opens the door for Think to finally enter higher scale production, now that battery-supply constraints are behind us," he said
Thanks to their prismatic design, EnerDel batteries purportedly are lightweight, smaller and have higher energy density than other lithium-ion batteries. And, the EnerDel battery can be charged up to 80 percent of its capacity in just 15 minutes.
EnerDel Inc. announced plans to open li-ion battery plants in both China and Europe in an effort to triple its battery production by the end of 2011 and meet the expected demand of new partnerships. Though the company currently holds deals with just two automakers (Think and Volvo), it plans to announce two additional customers by the end of the year, one hailing from Europe and the other from Asia.
From building electrodes and cells on up to assembling fully functioning battery packs, EnerDel will do it all in-house at its future Chinese plant. Once completed, this facility should have enough capacity to produce 20,000 battery packs per year. The European plant will operate in a different way. This plant will take cells built at another location and assemble them into fully-functional battery packs. The European site is also expected to have an annual capacity of 40,000 packs by the end of next year. Both sites should be functional by the end of 2011.
Once these new plants are completed, EnerDel will be able to produce 60,000 packs per year around the world, three times its current output. Back in January, EnerDel began to expand its U.S. operations by investing $237 million to open a new plant in Indiana.
[Source: Automotive News - sub. req.]
Indiana-based EnerDel, which makes advanced lithium-ion battery systems for hybrid and electric vehicles, has announced the signing of a letter of intent with Chinese auto-parts supplier Wanxiang to jointly produce battery systems this year for Wanxiang's existing backlog of customers in China in the passenger and heavy-duty market segments.
EnerDel, which is simultaneously ramping production at its U.S. and Korean facilities, said in a statement Thursday that the deal should rapidly accelerate its business plan by opening up access to the most important electric vehicle market in the world.
Wanxiang is China's largest auto-parts supplier and second-largest private company, with over $10 billion in annual revenue and 30,000 employees. It is also the second-largest stakeholder in Guangzhou Automobile, China's most profitable domestic car company, which has joint-venture partnerships that include Honda, Toyota and Fiat.
In addition to Guangzhou Automobile, current Wanxiang customers include SAIC, Chana, Haima and Yutong, the world's second-largest bus maker. Wanxiang's electric-vehicle division has been supplying the 2010 Shanghai World Expo and will also supply the Asia Games, to be held in Guangzhou in 2010.
"China is the fastest-growing auto market in the world, currently producing 13 million vehicles per year and looking to sustain double-digit growth over the next 10 years," said Charles Gassenheimer, chairman and CEO of EnerDel parent company Ener1.
"They are already ahead of the rest of the world in embracing EV technology, particularly in the heavy-duty sector. Over the next decade, we see demand for as many as one million heavy-duty vehicles. That's a market opportunity worth tens of billions of dollars for the lithium-ion battery industry," he said.