US-based Ener1 is creating a European Division and has appointed Ulrik Grape, a veteran of the lithium-ion business, as President of Ener1 Europe. Through its subsidiary EnerDel, it designs, develops and manufactures, advanced high energy density, lithium-ion batteries. Ener1 also develops commercial fuel cell products through its EnerFuel subsidiary and nanotechnology-based materials and manufacturing processes for batteries and other applications through its NanoEner subsidiary.
The European division is being created to meet growing demand for electric drive and battery technology among Europe’s top car companies as well as other business opportunities involving energy storage applications.
Ulrik Grape, a Norwegian by birth, will lead the division drawing on over a decade of experience in the lithium-ion business and the launching of several new start-ups in his career. Grape was previously CEO of EnerDel and successfully led the company through a ground-breaking expansion including massive capital investment, winning its first customer contracts and installation of a state-of-the-art mass production line.
Ener1 is teaming with Volvo Cars to provide lithium-ion packs for the C30 Battery Electric Vehicle (earlier post). This follows on from the recently announced collaboration with Volvo on the plug-in hybrid V70 demonstration vehicles being tested in Europe this fall, which also feature EnerDel lithium-ion batteries.
European automakers are really setting the pace in terms of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle development. You only have to look at the plethora of new products and technology concepts being launched at the Frankfurt Show this week to see that.
Our headquarters is in America, but many of our core customer relationships are in Europe, and it now becomes crucial to establish ourselves with a commanding presence in a market where we expect to aggressively build our business both in automotive and in the fast growing market of electricity grid storage and infrastructure. We are also looking ahead to a time when business growth makes it sensible to extend custom-tailored pack assembly capacity closer to where customers need it.—Ulrik Grape
Ener1 has announced active relationships with Think Global, Fisker and Volvo, and has a research program with Nissan. The company was recently selected to be awarded a $118.5 million grant from the US Department of Energy under the federal stimulus program and is awaiting approval of additional long-term, low-interest loan funds under the agency’s Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program.
EnerDel’s two factories in Indianapolis are the first commercial-scale automotive lithium-ion battery manufacturing facilities in the United States. EnerDel has a third manufacturing location in Chungcheongbuk-do, Korea.