|The e-Zone Electric Vehicle (EV) will be one of the vehicle types CT&T will produce for the US market. Source: CT&T United. Click to enlarge.|
South Korea-based electric vehicle maker CT&T outlined the company’s expansion efforts during a press briefing at the Tokyo Motor Show and announced $400-million, 38,000-units in sales and distribution agreements. Shipments of CT&T’s compact electric vehicles to Japan will begin in November.
CT&T, founded in 2002 by former Hyundai Motor executive Young Gi Lee, currently produces two versions of its e-Zone EV, differentiated by battery pack: lead acid or Li-polymer. (Earlier post.) The current e-Zone uses a 72V, 7.0 kW motor and offers either a 72V, 165Ah lead-acid battery (base option) or a 72V, 140Ah (approx. 10 kWh) Li-polymer battery.
The e-Zone has a top speed of 70 km/h (44 mph). The lead-acid battery offers a range of 50-70 km (31-41 miles) on one charge; the Li-polymer battery offers a range of 100-110 km (62-68 miles). The charger uses AC 100~220V. A direct-drive wheel motor, developed with PUES Corporation, is optional.
CT&T is working to enhance speed and range in partnership with LG Chem and SK Energy. The new City EVs will reach speeds of 60-80 km/h (38-50 mph) and travel a distance of 70-120 km (43-75 miles) with one charge.
CT&T is to produce 38,000 electric vehicles beginning 1 Nov. 2009 through the first quarter of 2010 with the bulk share of distribution slated for the United States (27,000 EVs), followed by Canada (5,000 EVs), Japan (4,000 EVs) and Taiwan (2,000 EVs). CT&T EVs will be available in Japan starting in November. The order will be fulfilled in the form of complete units. As regional assembly lines are created, the remaining units will be manufactured in the fashion of SKD (semi-knock down).
CT&T is introducing an operations strategy it calls RAS (Regional Assembly and Sales System). The company projects it will have more than 40 RAS systems in operation by 2011. This new method of automobile manufacturing and sales will build regional sales networks and small-scale assembly resulting in an output of 10,000 units per year. RAS system enables the manufacturer to create cost efficiencies and maintain lower prices, according to CT&T. Frost and Sullivan awarded CT&T a 2009 Excellence in Innovation Award on 13 Oct. for the concept of the RAS system.
This contract represents tremendous collaboration between CT&T, its technology partners and the progressive nations which have welcomed us because they understand the promise of zero emissions transportation. In the coming months, we will be setting up numerous RAS centers and selling EVs to companies and individuals.
—Young Gi Lee
In September, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell announced that CT&T intends to open two production and distribution facilities in the state.