Ener1 Gets $20 Million Investment from ITOCHU

The great prospects visible in the lithium-ion battery industry is making more and more companies invest in those whose primary field of activity is the manufacturing of such technologies. So is the case with Japanese trading giant ITOCHU, which just announced it will invest $20 million in battery manufacturer Ener1, after it purchased 3.2 million shares of common stock at a price of $6.18 per share.

"ITOCHU has been an invaluable strategic partner for Ener1, supplying capital at important phases in the company's growth and granting vital access to materials and equipment," Charles Gassenheimer, Ener1 CEO said in a release.

"Their deeply rooted relationships with many of the world's leading companies involved in grid storage and electric drive continues to foster new relationships and open doors to compelling commercial opportunities."

Ener1, which produces battery systems for both the automotive and electric utility markets recently launched, together with Mazda and Think, the first project aimed at linking grid storage, electric vehicles, rapid recharging infrastructure and solar power into one effective package.

Ener1 is alos working into the EV field with carmakers like Think, Volvo, Mazda, Nissan and Fisker. Batteries made by Ener1 are also used in a prototype hybrid Humvee.

"We are very excited that we can enhance the strategic partnership between Ener1 and ITOCHU that started in 2003," Greg Kasagawa, ITOCHU Aerospace and Electronics Division CEO added.

"We believe that leading edge technologies which Ener1 companies hold and ITOCHU's global market reach will present excellent opportunities to create multiple applications and business models."
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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