They can't confirm it, but they didn't deny it.
In a recent interview with AllCarsElectric.com
, Canadian firm E-One Moli Energy discussed their past relationship with AC Propulsion, the confirmed electric drivetrain provider for the MINI E. Paul Craig, Manager of Applications Engineering, said "We've worked very closely with AC Propulsion in the past. They're an intergrator that has procured cells from us."
The company is certainly positioned well to supply the MINI E batteries. In 1977 they became the first company in the world to manufacture lithium rechargeable batteries, and have pioneered breakthroughs in the industry for the last 30 years. They currently manufacture 4.5 million cells per month, and are expanding capacity to produce ten million cells per month in 2009, and 13 million cells per month in 2011.
AC propulsion has been in the electric car business since 1992. They pioneered the tzero™ propulsion technology
in 1996 and have been improving the drivetrain since. From their website:
The AC induction motor produces up to 220 horsepower but weighs only 110 pounds. It provides all of the tractive effort, and most of the braking, too. Highly effective regenerative braking recaptures kinetic energy from deceleration, returning it to the battery for later use. The integrated power electronics unit adds only 70 pounds, and it includes a powerful battery charger that can restore 60 miles of driving range in as little as one hour. For the battery, tzero™ technology provides battery management systems for Lithium batteries that manage voltage and temperature during driving and charging for reliable, safe operation and long battery life.
When directly asked to confirm the tip from our double-secret source that they would be the battery supplier for the MINI E, Craig didn't budge. He talked about E-One Moli Energy being a supplier for Milwaukee Electric tool, OHM cycle, and the U.S. Military, and said "We have some other very significant EV projects in the works. I hope to be able to share additional details with you as they become available."
That's close enough for me.