ECOtality’s eTec Consolidates Minit-Charger Manufacturing

February 19, 2008 by Jeff Shepard

Electric Transportation Engineering Co. (eTec), a wholly owned subsidiary of ECOtality, Inc., a renewable energy company that acquires and commercially advances clean electric technologies and applications, announced it has successfully consolidated the manufacturing and assembly of all Minit-Charger products to Low & High Power Group Inc. of Mississauga, Ontario.

The Minit-Charger line of fast battery charging systems for material handling equipment was acquired by ECOtality in December 2007 and is managed, distributed and operated by eTec. eTec will continue to oversee all materials and parts suppliers, retain control of all product design and configurations, and shift all Minit-Charger product engineering and development to its Phoenix, Arizona headquarters. The consolidation will streamline shipping operations, reduce overhead costs, and provide increased manufacturing capabilities.

"With more than 10 years experience supplying and manufacturing Minit-Charger products, we are confident Low & High Power Group will continue to manufacture our fast-charging products to the highest quality standards that eTec customers have come to expect and rely upon," said Don Karner, President and CEO of eTec. "In addition, by focusing our engineering and R&D activities at our Phoenix headquarters, we will be optimally equipped to explore additional market applications for our fast charging technologies with an eye towards providing the infrastructure for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles."

Minit-Charger is a fast battery charging system that is said to enable a more environmentally friendly, energy and cost efficient means of recharging forklifts and other mobile material handling equipment. Eliminating the need for petroleum-based fuels commonly used in material handling vehicles, Minit-Charger is a clean system that emits no harmful emissions. 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 company also claims that, unlike conventional charging methods that require changing batteries after they are depleted, 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, resulting in enhanced worker safety, productivity and energy and battery cost savings.

"Consolidating manufacturing and assembly is an important step in integrating the Minit-Charger product line with eTec’s current fast charge operations and will increase our operational efficiency while reducing manufacturing costs," said Jonathan Read, President and CEO, ECOtality. "As the material handling industry continues to transition from propane and diesel to pure electric lift trucks, this manufacturing consolidation helps us move forward with our goal of enabling an electro-centric world where we power all vehicles, from material handling equipment to automobiles, with clean electricity."