THINK and AeroVironment to Pursue Projects to Promote Fast-charging Infrastructure; THINK Picks Enerdel as Sole Battery Provider for US
Electric vehicle manufacturer THINK announced that it will work with AeroVironment, Inc. (AV), a leading developer and supplier of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, to pursue demonstration and commercial projects using AV’s level III fast-charge system and the THINK City electric vehicle to jump-start the development of fast-charge infrastructure in the United States.
THINK CEO Richard Canny made the announcement during a 15-minute press conference at the Washington Auto Show—the same amount of time required to charge a THINK City from completely depleted to 80% charged using an advanced fast-charge system.
The AV level III fast-charge system employs a protocol developed by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). (Earlier post.) THINK and EnerDel have for several months been using TEPCO fast charging daily to quickly recharge development vehicles. This work has confirmed the suitability of the fast-charge technology and readiness for commercialization.
THINK and AeroVironment are setting a new standard for extremely quick re-charging – zero to 80 percent in just 15 minutes. This is a major leap forward for electric vehicles. The development and deployment of very-fast-charge stations will help speed the electrification of automobiles in the United States and globally.—THINK CEO Richard Canny
THINK also announced that it has chosen EnerDel, the Indiana-based lithium ion battery manufacturer, to be the exclusive battery supplier for THINK City electric vehicles sold in the US through 2012. EnerDel also will supply at least 60% of the batteries for THINK City electric vehicles sold in Europe.
THINK City, to be sold in the United States beginning this year, will have a top speed of more than 70 mph (113 km/h) and a range of more than 100 miles (161 km) per full charge. THINK City has an onboard AC charger that can be coupled with an economically priced 220-volt THINK home charging station to provide overnight charging for the vehicle. It can also be charged using 110-volt current on a regular household outlet. The fast-charge system will be a supplementary alternative for customers’ added sense of security and for fleets with daily mileage requirements exceeding the car’s range.
Our experience with more than 1,500 vehicles in use in Europe is that customers using the vehicle for daily commutes and trips around town quickly become comfortable with THINK City’s range of more than 100 miles. For them, the standard over-night charging is a very practical solution. Fast charging’s importance will be for high-use fleets.
THINK recently announced plans for a North American manufacturing facility in Elkhart, Indiana, where the company will build the THINK City beginning early in 2011. The new facility will be in addition to THINK’s current manufacturing capability in Finland, where it has contracted with Valmet to build the THINK City.
THINK expects commercial fleet customers in the US to be among the first users of the fast-charge system, but also anticipates that commercial enterprises—including shopping malls, convenience stores and parking garages—will quickly see the value in offering fast-charging services for their customers as a way to grow business and to demonstrate environmental responsibility.