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Lithium-Ion Battery Maker Ener1 Receives $20M Strategic Equity Investment from ITOCHU

Large-format lithium-ion battery maker Ener1, Inc. has received $20 million in fresh investment capital from ITOCHU Corporation, a long-term strategic partner of and current investor in Ener1. ITOCHU, which began its strategic relationship with Ener1 in 2003, purchased 3.2 million shares of common stock from Ener1 at a price of $6.18 per share. (Earlier post.)

Recent announcements stemming from Ener1’s partnership with ITOCHU include the first project in the world linking grid storage, electric vehicles, rapid recharging infrastructure and solar power, working alongside Mazda Corporation and Think Global electric vehicle company (earlier post); the conversion of Japanese Postal trucks in the Kanagawa and Tokyo Prefectures (earlier post); and the development of an advanced rapid recharge technology, working alongside Kyushu Electric Power (KEPCO), the fourth largest power and utility company in Japan.

Separately, EnerDel has active relationships underway with automakers Think, Volvo, Mazda, Nissan (earlier post) and Fisker (earlier post). (At the recent LA Auto Show, Fisker CEO Henrik Fisker said that his company would announce the provider of their battery packs by the end of the year.) Ener1 battery packs are also being tested by the US Department of Defense in a prototype hybrid Humvee. (Earlier post.)

Last month, the company was chosen to supply the batteries that will power a DOE-funded smart grid energy storage project by Portland General Electric (PGE) that will help manage peak demand and smooth the variations in power from renewable sources like wind and solar. (Earlier post.)



Good news for a potential future major battery manufacturer. JVs and consolidation are necessary to build and operate the large facilities required for mass production.

The excellent Ener1 battery packs could be adapted to many different uses if and when cost are reduced with mass production.

The world will need 10 to 30 large consolidated battery pack producers to keep up with rising demand.

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