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Posted: November 18, 2008
Ener1 and Kyushu Electric Power to Co-Develop Rapid Re-Charging Stations for Next-Generation Electric Vehicles
(Nanowerk News) Ener1, Inc. maker of advanced lithium-ion battery solutions to power the next generation of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles, today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding ("MOU") with Kyushu Electric Power ("KEPCO"), the fourth largest publicly traded power and utility company in Japan. The MOU marks an understanding that Ener1 and KEPCO will work together to create and manufacture rapid recharging systems for electric vehicles. KEPCO has already developed one of the most advanced rapid charging stands and plans to customize that solution with the EnerDel High Energy Pack System. KEPCO's next-generation electric vehicle rapid charging station has exhibited one of the highest levels of performance for rapid charging in Japan.
The target date to have the first integrated systems available is by March, 2009. The relationship will accelerate the development and diffusion of charging systems to match the anticipated growth in electric vehicles. The ability to rapidly recharge lithium-ion batteries will be crucial in enabling the widespread adoption of the electric vehicle, and it is anticipated that these systems will allow customers to recharge up to 80% of their vehicle's battery capacity in less than 20 minutes.
"Drivers need to know they can recharge an electric car as easily as they fill the tank in today's conventional vehicles," said Ener1 Chairman and CEO Charles Gassenheimer. "The batteries are here. What we need is the infrastructure to charge them quickly. We have often suggested that the customer for electric drive is not just the auto manufacturers, but also the integrated power and utility companies. Together with ITOCHU Corporation, we are privileged to work with such prestigious partners on this important project. The opportunity underscores Ener1's strategy to be a total systems and solutions provider in pioneering the electrification of the automobile."
"We are excited to be working with Ener1, which we consider to be an early leader in the development of this industry," said Toshiro Noguchi, General Manager of the Research Laboratory at KEPCO. "We believe that Ener1's state of the art technology is now ready for rapid adoption and are excited to be partnering with them at this critical time."
About Ener1, Inc.
Ener1 develops and manufactures compact, high performance lithium-ion batteries to power the next generation of hybrid and electric vehicles. The publicly traded company (Amex: HEV) is led by an experienced team of engineers and energy system experts at its EnerDel subsidiary located in Indiana. EnerDel has developed proprietary battery systems based on technology originally pioneered with the assistance of the Argonne National Lab.
Ener1 is seeking to become the first company to mass-produce a cost-competitive lithium-ion battery for hybrid and electric vehicles. Demand for battery solutions is being driven by a need to reduce dependence on oil as well as growing concern about vehicle emissions. In addition to the automobile market, applications for Ener1 lithium-ion battery technology include medical, military, aerospace, electric utility and other growing markets.
Major shareholders of Ener1 include Ener1 Group, Inc., a privately held, global investment and advisory firm, and ITOCHU Corporation, a Japanese trading company and distributor of manufacturing equipment essential to lithium-ion battery production. ITOCHU has annual revenue of approximately $90 billion and offices in more than 80 countries. Ener1 has also received funding from a growing number of institutional investors.
In addition to battery technology, Ener1 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.