Government officials, including Party Secretary Zhao Hongzhu from China’s Zhejiang Province, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and members of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, were on hand for the announcement as part of the Indiana-Zhejiang Business Symposium in Indianapolis. The delegation also toured Ener1’s manufacturing plant in Mt. Comfort, Ind., which is one of three facilities the company has throughout the Indianapolis area.
"Indiana is committed to maintaining a climate where innovative businesses like Ener1 can succeed," Governor Daniels said. "We’re very proud to have played a role in bringing these two companies together and look forward to their shared success as they develop the next phase of the electric car industry. Today’s announcement is an example of one of many fruitful partnerships between Indiana and China and shows that the Hoosier economy has a global reach."
The new company – Zhejiang Wanxiang Ener1 Power System Co., Ltd – will initially focus on fulfilling existing contracts with State Grid, which is the largest power supplier in China. These projects include providing lithium-ion battery systems for a pure electric bus project for the city of Qingdao, a pure electric car project for the city of Hangzhou, as well as a grid energy storage system. As capacity increases, it is anticipated the joint venture will work with other existing customers, such as SAIC Motor, Dongfeng Motor, Faw Haima Motor, Chang’an Automobile, Guangzhou Automobile and Yutong. The joint enterprise is expected to achieve annual cell manufacturing capacity of 300 million Ampere hours (approximately 40,000 electric vehicle battery packs) annually by 2014.
"Wanxiang has built strong and deep customer relationships throughout China," said Dr. Lu Guanqiu, founder and chairman of Wanxiang Group. "We are pleased that we have found such a technologically-advanced business partner like Ener1 to help us produce battery systems for our transportation and power grid customers."
"We’re pleased to begin working with our partners at Wanxiang, with whom we’ve developed a strong relationship over the past year, to bring our lithium-ion battery packs and cells to one of the fastest-growing markets," said Charles Gassenheimer, chairman and CEO, Ener1, Inc. "We believe our technical expertise, coupled with Wanxiang’s manufacturing aptitude, will help us quickly deliver exceptional energy storage solutions for customers in China."
The company also introduced its new leadership team, including: Dr. Jun Chen, who will serve as chief executive officer of Zhejiang Wanxiang Ener1 Power System Co.; Mr. Junqi Du, chief operating officer; and Dr. Taison Tan, chief technology officer.
Ener1, Inc. is a publicly traded (NASDAQ: HEV) energy storage technology company that develops compact, lithium-ion-powered battery solutions for the transportation, utility grid and industrial electronics markets. Headquartered in New York City, the company has more than 700 employees with manufacturing locations in the United States and Korea. Ener1 also develops commercial fuel cell products and nanotechnology-based materials.