Moscow, Russia – A state-run Russian company plans to establish the country’s first plant producing lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles (EV), with investment from a Chinese firm.

The plant will be built by the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies (RUSNANO), which was established in 2007 to enable government policy in the field of nanotechnology. The plant, in Novosibirsk, will have four production lines from co-investor Thunder Sky of China, the world’s only company engaged in mass production of rechargeable storage batteries for micro- and e-buses. The company’s proprietary technologies include a unique system for rapid battery charging in less than half an hour.

Thunder Sky’s products are being tested in Europe by such automotive companies as Daimler, Fiat, BMW and Citroën, and by Nokia for use in base stations.

The Russian plant will primarily produce lithium-ion batteries for all types of electric vehicles, including motorcycles and electric buses. Production will begin in 2011. Thunder Sky plans to buy a large part of the factory’s products to fulfill its contracts with electric vehicle companies in China. As demand emerges in the Russian market, products from the plant will be sold there as well.

“In essence, the project involves a transfer to Russia of one of the most advanced technologies in the world,” said RUSNANO managing director Sergei Polikarnov. “Manufacturing will be fully localized in our country and Russian companies will supply raw materials. We will have new, high-tech production and lower production costs in the project. The endeavour will create 500 new jobs and contribute more than seven billion rubles in taxes to federal and regional budgets between 2010 and 2015.”

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