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Tesla to Provide Battery Packs to Th!nk

The Los Angeles Times reports that Tesla Motors will announce a $43-million, two-year deal on Tuesday to supply lithium-ion battery packs to Th!nk, the resurrected Norwegian manufacturer of electric city cars.

Tesla integrates and manages 6,831 commodity 18650 cells into the 56 kWh Energy Storage System (ESS) pack for its Roadster.

The Th!nk cars will be sold in Europe but not in the United States.


Adam Galas

So it begins! Tesla is on its way to bestriding the future of transportation like a collasus!

First they build their own cars, then they liscense and manufacture their tech for others, and finally they will end up designing their own batteries!

Good luck to them in their quest, for we have but 6 years to save the world.


This news made me look twice. Very interesting. The Norwegian press release is out It says that the Tesla battery for Think will be a 3000 cell battery instead of the 7000 cell battery used in the Tesla roadster. The release also says the acceleration of the Think car will be much improved compared to the Think car with the original Zebra battery. The Think will be sold with a choice to use Tesla lithium or Zebra molton salt batteries. Think ordered 2700 Tesla packs with delivery starting in December 2007 and ending in 2008. They pay $43 million for the packs indicating a pack price of $16000 for this 23 kWh battery. This is about $700 kWh making it the cheapest automotive grade lithium battery available. Can’t wait to see the final price of the Think in the lithium configuration.


Thanks for that Henrik. I wish Th!nk would do an English website!

Anyone know what sort of Wh/km the Th!nk is supposed to achieve?


That is an awful lot of batteries - They are tiny!
It will be much better when they can use the A123 32157 size cells.
It shows how early the days are when you need 6800 cells to power a car.
Anyhow, lets keep moving on.


Think does have an English web it is just not as informative jet as the Norwegian site. The English is here. The Thinks range with a 23kWh Zebra battery is 180km and it can do 100km/h. That is highway speed 70mph. The lithium pack will probably be lighter than the Zebra pack giving it extended range.
The reason the A123 is not used is most likely price and the fact that A123 does not yet sell an integrated automotive pack with cooling. That is the job of Cobasys and they do not make it yet I believe. It will come also because the Tesla battery is capable of exploding although it is a non-frequent event and probably far less likely than dying from a regular car accident. The A123 will also last longer but they will be less energy dense than the Tesla battery. In one or two more years you will likely see the A123 option as well for the Think car. Once the pack is ready by Cobasys it should be easy to plug it into the Think.


I am completely disappointed with how Bush's White House has stalled LiI battery development. Its taken six years to get him to recognize the GHG problem and to acknowledge something must be done. And, that occurred only after he was run over by the world's scientists.

An active and informed White House should have provided grant money and programs to develop these batteries. Their contribution has been very sparse.

My hope is that Tesla can move their batteries into the mainstream and challenge the other auto makers to produce BEVs. Right now the major auto companies are pushing diesel power into the U. S. market which is not a step forward to solving the GHG and oil security problems.


I agree with you Lad that Bush does not take GW seriously as most other politicians except for Arnold and Al Gore. In Europe we have none that take GW serious they talk about it and they would all like to appear as if they care but they do almost nothing. Germany, Spain and Denmark are doing a little but far from enough to prevent a GW disaster. I believe nothing serious will be done until something really dangerous starts to happen such as unprecedented melting at the poles at a magnitude that will start rising the global sea level by something visible say 15 cm. That will happen much before the current models predicted it. A report recently at CCG see shows none of the current models seem to model how serious GW is. Until recently, I used to be in academics and I understand that world well. Nobody dares to publish something that is completely out of order such as a model that predicts GW doomsday in 200 years from now. If a researcher believes this is the right model he will twist the current established model a bit and then publish, wait another year twist the model a bit again and publish a new paper, and so fourth for 8 years or so until he finally arrives at the model he really wanted to publish in the first place. In that way you will not only stand a better chance of getting published you will also get 8 publications made instead of one. This is the difference between making it to full professor instead of associate professor. This is why. Expect much more bad news on GW and even expect the sea levels to rise visible in a few decades perhaps only two.


The Tesla press release is also out It is interesting to see that Tesla has created a business group dedicated for battery sales and that revenue from that group (Tesla Energy Group) now appears to be on target to sell more than the Tesla car group.


Here is a link to Teslas ideas for their new enery group. .


I love EVERYTHING about the tesla roadster except their batteries. As an electrical engineer, I want to say that their batteries are an awesome solution for a problem that no longer exists. Both A123 Systems and Altair Nano have batteries with such a high power density (due to their low internal resistance) that when you build such a large battery bank ( ~50 KW*hr) that there is virtually no need for such a convoluted thermal management system. The real strength of Tesla is that unbelievably power dense squirrel cage AC electric motor (70 lbs, 248 hp, 13,000 rpm). If Tesla really wants to contribute to the american economy and the world environment, they would license their electric propulsion system to the dying big three. There is nothing in the market that can beat Tesla drivetrain with A123 Systems or Altair Nano batteries but I can asure you Toyota Motors is not sitting idly by.


And Bush hasn't done a thing to promote alternative energy, lower consumption, or smaller carbon footprints. Why should people act when they can rely on a white house to do all the work?

Jeff R

As I understand it, part of the reason Tesla chose to create large arrays of industry standard small li-ion batteries rather than use larger ones, is price. All those small batteries being used by the consumer electronics industry will inevitably drive down their price, which might not be true of larger specialty batteries. It's a core part of their strategy, because they absolutely need the price to come down as fast as possible to get their other models out.

P Schager

The Tesla pack is not going to go up in flames, not according to the manufacturer (; technical:, and it makes sense. You have to design the pack to prevent cell fire cascades to be able to make a pack that's safe with all those cells, but then it will be very safe.

What's great about Tesla's pack is that by creating a computer-benign environment inside the pack, it serves the EV industry with batteries from the portable electronics industry, which means they can advance as fast as that battery industry segment does. This lights a fire under the feet of the people making automotive lithium batteries, and makes it hard for anyone to drag the EV down and stymie progress by machinations involving those companies. (Sort of what happened with the NiMH generation.)

The only downside is that portable electronics makers don't really care very much if their batteries only last 3 years (products become passe so fast) so Tesla needs to light a fire under their suppliers' feet.


Freddy, Tesla are being sensible with the battery choice because the 18650s they have chosen have twice the energy density of A123 or Altair cells, for about a quarter of the current price. Of course in the future that will change, but they're going with the best option for now.


Hello: I no that something has to be done because this is rediculous driving around in such large vehicles for personal transport. I do feel that electric cars would be the answer as long as we can recycle the batteries safely. I did see an add for an automobile built I believe in Spain that works on compressed air and this, if it works good would certainly eliminate the need for batteries also. We must find ways to get around this and also make life changes including maybe using bicycles for short trips. Sincerely, Mike N.

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