Indianapolis firm to roll out lithium car battery

Indianapolis-based EnerDel Inc. this morning plans to unveil at a news conference a “cool running” lithium-ion battery pack it has developed specifically for the U.S. hybrid electric vehicle market.

EnerDel CEO Charles Gassenheimer said the company could grow to $450 million in annual revenue by producing 300,000 of the battery packs a year. Automakers have said they anticipate manufacturing 60 hybrid models by 2011, he noted.

Once the company reaches full production, EnerDel batteries should cost $1,500 each-a full $2,500 less than batteries for hybrid cars currently on the market.

“We know Detroit is very hungry for this product. Clearly this is a supply problem, not a demand problem,” he said. “We really think we’ve leapfrogged the competition.”

The 9 a.m. news conference is scheduled at EnerDel’s factory at 8740 Hague Road, Building 7, near 86th Street and Interstate 69. U.S. Rep. Dan Burton will preside over the event.

Founded in Sept. 2004, EnerDel has 60 employees and expects $5 million in revenue this year. Ener1 Inc., a Fr. Lauderdale, Fla., holding company, owns 80.5 percent of the company and Troy, Mich.-based auto parts maker Delphi Corp. owns the remainder.

EnerDel is traded on the Over the Counter Bulletin Board under the symbol ENEI. It has a market cap of $272 million.

In September, EnerDel landed a pair of major deals worth $9 million.

The first, on Sept. 18, was a $6.5 million lithium-ion battery technology development contract from the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium, whose members include Chrysler LLC, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. Eight days later, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded EnerDel a $2.5 million, two-year contract to develop lithium batteries for plug-in hybrid vehicles.

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