ECOtality To Acquire Minit-Charger

December 09, 2007 by Jeff Shepard

ECOtality, Inc. announced the execution of a definitive agreement to purchase all assets and business of Minit-Charger, a subsidiary of Edison International, for $3 million in cash and stock. According to the company, the acquisition of Minit-Charger, combined with the previous announced acquisitions of Electric Transportation Engineering Corp. (eTec), Innergy Power Corp. and Fuel Cell Store, will provide ECOtality with a revenue base of companies having combined trailing twelve month revenues of $14.55 million for the period ending third quarter of 2007.

Since its inception in 1998, Minit-Charger has generated over $40 million product sales and earned $5.16 million in revenues for the trailing twelve month period ending September 30, 2007. To continue to execute the company’s strategic growth plan and to complete the Minit-Charger acquisition, ECOtality successfully raised $1.5 million of capital from institutional investors.

"The acquisition of Minit-Charger, as well as our previous acquisition of eTec, exemplifies ECOtality’s strategy to acquire and advance revenue-generating companies with accretive technologies that reduce the environmental impacts of transportation and energy production," said Jonathan Read, President and CEO, ECOtality. "With the increased attention and growth in the electric vehicle market, we are committed to the commercial development of fast charging and clean electric propulsion systems and will explore additional transportation applications for the Minit-Charger and eTec Supercharge technologies."

eTec, a subsidiary of ECOtality, will manage all aspects of the Minit-Charger business after the acquisition. By combining the Minit-Charger line of battery fast chargers for lift trucks and material handling systems with the eTec SuperCharge™ line of battery fast chargers for airport ground support equipment, eTec will expand the company’s fast charging product line and market share in the area of clean electric transportation and infrastructure solutions. Currently, the eTec SuperCharge technology provides battery fast charging systems used in airport ground support equipment, neighborhood electric vehicle operations, and marine and transit applications.

"By leveraging the synergies between the Minit-Charger and eTec SuperCharge technologies, we will increase our presence in the battery and fast-charge markets and aggressively explore and develop additional applications for plug-in hybrid and electric vehicle markets and infrastructures," said Don Karner, President, eTec. "With the resources of ECOtality, eTec will provide superior customer service to new and existing customers and supply our fast charge systems at the lowest possible cost as we further drive commercial adoption of clean fast charge technologies."

According to the company, Minit-Charger is a fast battery charging system that enables a more environmentally-friendly, energy and cost efficient means of recharging forklifts and other mobile material handling equipment. With 10 patents filed in the U.S., the Minit-Charger technologies are also well-suited for alternative fuel transportation applications, including plug-in hybrid and electric vehicle markets and infrastructures. The Minit-Charger system is said to recharge batteries four- to six-times faster than conventional chargers, with battery life that is equal to or longer than those using traditional charging methods. The Minit-Charger can recharge batteries at opportune times, eliminating the need for vehicle operators to remove them from the truck during breaks and shift changes.