New Benchmark for Electric Vehicles Fast-Charging

Electric vehicle manufacturer THINK today announced it will work with AeroVironment, Inc. (Nasdaq: AVAV) (AV), a leading developer and supplier of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, to pursue demonstration and commercial projects using AV’s level III fast-charge system and the THINK City electric vehicle. The projects will be designed to jump-start the development of fast-charge infrastructure for electric cars in the United States.

The announcement came during a 15 minute news conference at the Washington DC Auto Show. The same amount of time it takes to charge a completely depleted THINK City to 80 percent using an advanced fast-charge system, establishing a new benchmark for the rapidly developing electric vehicle industry.

"THINK and AeroVironment are setting a new standard for quick re-charging ? zero to 80 percent in just 15 minutes," said THINK CEO Richard Canny. "This is a major leap forward for electric vehicles. The development and deployment of very-fast-charge stations will speed the electrification of automobiles worldwide."

"A safe, reliable and accessible charging infrastructure is necessary for broad adoption of electric vehicles such as the THINK City," said Michael Bissonette, AV senior vice president and general manager of its Efficient Energy Systems business segment. "Our portfolio of true fast-charge systems and commercial and home charge stations will help drivers integrate electric vehicles into their lives."

THINK also announced EnerDel, an Indiana-based lithium ion battery manufacturer, will be the exclusive battery supplier for THINK City electric vehicles sold in the U.S. through 2012. EnerDel will also supply about 60 percent of the batteries for THINK vehicles sold in Europe.

THINK City, going on sale in the U.S. late this year, will have a top speed of more than 70 miles per hour and a range of more than 100 miles per full charge. THINK City has an onboard AC charger that can be coupled with an economically priced 220-volt THINK home charging station to provide overnight charging. It can also be charged using 110-volt current on a regular household outlet.

The fast-charge system will be a supplementary alternative for customers’ added sense of security and for fleets with daily mileage requirements exceeding the car’s range.

THINK is a pioneer in electric vehicles and a leader in electric vehicle technology, developed and proven over 19 years. It is one of the few companies that are currently producing highway-ready, fully electric vehicles for sale – the THINK City. THINK is also a leader in electric drive-system technology, and was the first to offer a modular and flexible EV drive-train solution in the business-to-business sector. With its Scandinavian origins and sustainability mindset, THINK is one of the most carbon efficient car companies in the world.

THINK has established a U.S. subsidiary – THINK North America, a stand-alone business that will include manufacturing, product development, sales and distribution. The company has an active application before the U.S. Energy Department under the $25-billion Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program designed to spur development of more fuel efficient vehicles, including pure electric and hybrid electric vehicles.

AeroVironment, Inc. (AV): Building on a history of technological innovation, AV designs, develops, produces, and supports an advanced portfolio of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and efficient electric energy systems. Agencies of the U.S. Department of Defense and allied military services use the company’s battery-powered, hand-launched UAS to provide situational awareness to tactical operating units through real-time, airborne reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition. AV’s clean transportation solutions include power cycling and test systems and industrial electric vehicle charging systems for commercial and institutional customers, as well as EV home chargers and EV fast chargers for consumers.

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.