Capital and Business Alliance with Norwegian Electric Vehicle Manufacturer THINK Holdings AS

July 22, 2010

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) has recently concluded an agreement to enter into a capital and business alliance with THINK Holdings AS (headquartered in Oslo, Norway; Richard Canny, CEO; hereinafter “THINK”), a Norwegian manufacturer dedicated to electric vehicles (EVs). Under the agreement, ITOCHU will be investing THINK at the same time as acquiring the right to sell EVs and Drive Systems(*) designed and manufactured by THINK in Japan and other Asian markets.

THINK has been developing and manufacturing EVs since 1991, and became the first EV manufacturer to obtain a model approval in Europe in 2009. The company has an impressive track record, manufacturing and selling more than 9,000 EVs, mainly in Europe and North America. It has established a new production base in Indiana, the United States, and plans to attain global annual sales of 22,000 EVs in 2012. The company is also one of the few manufacturers in the world to sell Drive Systems for EVs to outside parties. THINK has also adopted the lithium-ion battery systems of EnerDel, a 100% subsidiary of Enerl of the United States and another company in which ITOCHU has taken an equity stake. Enerl is also a major shareholder of THINK.

Through the capital and business tie-up, ITOCHU is acquiring the following sales rights in Asian markets, and will provide active support for sales in markets outside Asia, as a strategic partner of THINK:

  1. Exclusive sales right in the Japanese market and priority sales rights in other Asian markets for EVs developed, designed and manufactured by THINK
  2. Exclusive sales right in the Japanese market and priority sales rights in other Asian markets for the Drive Systems for EVs developed, designed and manufactured by THINK

ITOCHU has equipped EVs (basic model: Demio by Mazda) with the Drive System of THINK and lithium-ion batteries of EnerDel in the Green Crossover Project (a joint low carbon transportation system demonstration using clean energy) being implemented in Tsukuba City since May 2010. ITOCHU will also begin to propose packages featuring the Drive System of THINK and the lithium-ion batteries of EnerDel, to domestic and overseas EV markets where demand is expected to grow significantly. Meanwhile, ITOCHU will work closely with automobile manufacturers and others, to fully harness the technologies and know-how accumulated by THINK as a dedicated EV manufacturer.

ITOCHU has taken the following initiatives in the area of lithium-ion batteries:
Resources (lithium chemicals):
Invested in the lithium resources development company Simbol Mining Corporation, enabling future production of 64,000 tons of lithium carbonate, approximately 50% of the current global production capacity of around 123,000 tons.
Members (cathode materials):
The cathode materials plant in North America built jointly with Toda Kogyo Corporation will manufacture cathode materials equivalent to 80,000 EVs each year by 2015. In addition, the two companies agreed to invest in Hunan Shanshan Advanced Material Co., Ltd., a leading maker of cathode materials in China.
Members (anode materials):
Concluded an agreement with Kureha Corporation and EnerDel, Inc. to commence design work for the anode materials plant.
Made an investment in Enerl Inc., which in turn has a 100% stake in leading vehicle-mounted lithium-ion battery manufacturer EnerDel, Inc., and acquired global priority sales rights for EnerDel’s lithium-ion batteries.
Through the investment in THINK, ITOCHU intends to further consolidate the value chain in its lithium-ion battery business, and accelerate measures geared toward the creation of new businesses, including a business model for secondary use of vehicle-mounted lithium-ion batteries, utilizing the demonstration project in Tsukuba City as a model case.

  • Drive System
    This is a generic term referring to the motor, battery management unit, and inverter, which are the core components for driving EVs. The system controls the electricity stored in storage batteries, and converts it into motive force.

About THINK Holdings AS

Company Name THINK Holdings AS
CEO Richard Canny
Registered Head Office Martin Linges vei 17 NO-1364 Fornebu Norway
Established 1991
Capital NOK36.4 million (Full year ending December 2009)

About Ener1, Inc

Company Name Ener1, Inc
Chairman & CEO Charles Gassenheimer
Registered Head Office 1540 Broadway Suite 25C New York, NY 10036 U.S.A.
Established 2002
Capital USD1.3 million (March 31 2010)
Net Sales USD34.8 million (Full year ending December 2009)

About EnerDel, Inc.

Company Name EnerDel, Inc.
President Richard L. Stanley
Registered Head Office 8740 Hague Road Indianapolis, IN 46256 U.S.A.
Established 2004

EV manufactured by THINK