Tesla puts tech in economy cars

Tesla Motors will sell batteries to a Scandinavian company, Th!nk Global, which makes an economy car, executives said today at the Clean-Tech Investor Summit in Palm Desert, Calif.

Martin Eberhard, CEO of Tesla Motors, said that Tesla has formed a group called Tesla Energy Now to sell battery packs to other companies.

"A certain unnamed Scandinavian electric car company has become a customer," he said.

Sitting two seats down on the panel was Jan-Olaf Willums, president of Th!nk Global, which bought an experimental electric car called the Think from Ford in 2006. His company will start producing cars in the fall for Norway and England, and will later look at marketing in the U.S.

Willums said his company had improved the Th!nk: Ford's version had 60-mile range, and the version coming out later this year will have a 110-mile range.

Eberhard also said Tesla is in development on its second car. The new version will be a four-seat sedan and will be sold at a "significantly lower price point" than the $92,000 Tesla Roadster.

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    Michael Kanellos is editor at large at CNET News.com, where he covers hardware, research and development, start-ups and the tech industry overseas.

     

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