ZENN Motor Changes Strategy to Sell EEstor-based Electric Drive Rather Than Its Own EVs
25 September 2009
ZENN Motor Company Inc. (ZMC) has decided to switch its business strategy from selling electric vehicles to distributing an electric drivetrain powered by EEStor, once the EEstor EESU units are available. The EESU is a high-power-density multi-layered barium titanate ceramic ultracapacitor that the companies say is expected to provide energy densities of more than 450 Wh/kg and more than 700 Wh/L; charge in minutes; and have extremely long life. (Earlier post.)
In a press release, the company said the its previously announced cityZENN highway capable electric vehicle will not be developed into a standalone commercially available offering.
Integration of the ZENNergy drive in OEM vehicles has always been our long term objective...At the end of the day, we want to partner with all OEMs so that consumers can drive a variety of electric vehicles across numerous automotive brands with one common denominator—they are all Powered by ZENNergy.
A significant amount of the work that our engineering team has done to-date on the cityZENN project applies directly to ZENNergy drive. Leveraging this work will greatly assist our discussions with prospective partners across the automotive industry and will allow our product marketing and engineering teams to focus wholly on bringing ZENNergy drive solutions to market. Given the timelines involved, introducing the cityZENN directly into the marketplace would have ultimately competed with our prospective OEM and Tier 1 supplier engagements and create unnecessary near-term confusion at the consumer level.
We have the opportunity to either challenge a small part of the market as an OEM, or to leverage the numerous established OEMs with their respective brands and infrastructure. With access to global platforms through multiple partners, we believe we can be much more successful as a strategic technology provider than an automaker.—Ian Clifford, Chief Executive Officer of ZENN Motor Company
ZMC owns approximately 10.7% of the equity of EEStor, Inc. Under a Technology Agreement with EEStor, ZMC holds the worldwide exclusive rights to incorporate EEStor’s EESU for new passenger vehicles up to 1,400 kilograms curb weight (net of batteries); golf carts, Low Speed Vehicles and certain utility vehicles; and the conversion of any class of used internal combustion 4-wheel vehicles to electric.
The companies say first production units of the EESU are now expected by the end of the year.
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