PHOTO CAPTION: Trio of Mazda 2 sedans will be test beds for electric drivetrain developed by Think and EnerDel.

Think, EnerDel Win 'Plug 'n Play' Electric Car Drivetrain Contract

Three Mazda 2 cars will be converted to EVs to test and evaluate the vehicles’ resilience in busy Tsukuba City daily commuter traffic.

Published: 02-Dec-2009

OSLO, Norway -- THINK, the Scandinavian electric vehicle (EV) maker, and its battery partner Ener1, have secured another supply agreement for their proprietary ‘plug and play’ EV drive-train technology with a Japanese partnership program led by Itochu Corporation.

THINK and Ener1 will supply three prototype test-beds as part of a new and innovative project to test electric vehicles in the Japanese city of Tsukuba.

The Tsukuba Environmental Project is the result of a newly announced partnership between Itochu, Mazda and other leading Japanese companies. The project will see the conversion of three Mazda 2 models to plug-in battery power to test and evaluate the vehicles’ resilience in busy Tsukuba City daily commuter traffic.

Ener1’s cutting-edge rapid charging technologies, secondary applications of EV batteries, the use of renewable energy for battery charging and new car-sharing initiatives will also be tested as part of the project.

THINK CEO, Richard Canny, said: “Japan is quickly becoming one of the most forward- thinking countries in the world when it comes to electric vehicle technologies. Already this year we have supplied the Japan Postal Service – through Japanese System Integrator Zero Sports – with our THINK and Ener1 EV drive-train system for the testing of a new fleet of electric postal vehicles.”

He continued: “THINK’s latest generation integrated EV drive controller will power the new Mazda 2 test vehicles, further demonstrating our leadership in electric vehicle technology. This is a very exciting initiative, especially with the ancillary tests being conducted into the use of renewable energy sources and secondary applications of EV batteries – watch this space.”

Ener1’s Chairman and CEO, Charles Gassenheimer, added: “This is the second big opportunity we have had to work with our partners at THINK Global to develop a complete drive-train system for a third party customer. EnerDel has worked hard to build upstream and downstream relationships with the industry's leading companies around the world that give us a crucial edge as these growing markets converge.”

Initially developed for the THINK City, this proprietary EV drive-train system unites THINK’s industry-leading EV drive system with Ener1’s award-winning lithium-ion battery technology. It is the first of its kind to provide off-the-shelf availability combined with customized performance in a wide variety of potential EV applications.

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