Ener1 (HEV) Taps Into Chinese Lithium Battery Market With Wanxiang Electric, Shares Soar

Shares of Ener1 (HEV) are soaring today after they announced a joint venture with China’s leading auto parts supplier to co-manufacture lithium cells and battery packs for the Chinese market.  The joint venture with Wanxiang Electric called Zhejiang Wanxiang Ener1 Power System Co in which Wanxiang will have a 60% majority stake aims to produce 40,000 battery packs a year for electric cars by 2014. 

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“We are honored and excited to enter into this important new venture with one of China’s most respected industrial leaders,” commented Ener1 Chairman and CEO Charles Gassenheimer, referring to Wanxiang’s emergence from a small business to the second-largest private company in China and the country’s largest tier-one auto parts supplier with $10 billion in annual revenue.  “This joint venture gives us scalability by leveraging an existing manufacturing facility and an established broad customer base.  Applying our advanced battery technology will enable us to hit the ground running in serving what is potentially the largest advanced battery market in the world.”

Shares of HEV soared out the gate this morning, up over 50% at one point and really took off after the news was featured on CNBC.  Today’s high basically marks a filling of the gap left in Jan 2010 when the stock plunged to a new low.  While the stock is way overbought intraday, the move certainly changes the game for this stock technically.  An ideal entry on a pull back would occur in the 4.50 – 5 range.  Today’s move puts HEV back on the radar as a very compelling global battery play. 

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