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Ener1 Surges on Battery Deal in China With Wanxiang

Ener1 Inc. rose the most in almost five years after it announced a joint venture with a unit of China’s largest auto-parts maker Wanxiang Group Co. Ltd. to make lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles.

Ener1, a New York-based battery maker with market value , climbed as much as $2.22, or 60 percent, the largest percentage gain since Feb. 1, 2006, in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The shares were trading at $4.89, up 33 percent, at 11:53 a.m. Ener1’s market value is $792.2 million.

Ener1’s EnerDel unit owns 40 percent of the new venture, Zhejiang Wanxiang Ener1 Power System Co., and will contribute intellectual property and technical expertise, according to a statement.

Wanxiang Electric Vehicle Co. owns the remaining 60 percent of the joint venture and will provide an existing factory in Hangzhou, China. The companies said they expect to be able to produce 40,000 battery packs a year by 2014.

"Applying our advanced battery technology will enable us to hit the ground running in serving what is potentially the largest advanced battery market in the world," Charles Gassenheimer, Ener1’s chairman and chief executive officer, said in the statement.

Ener1 and Wanxiang said they will help meet a target, set by the Chinese government, of producing 500,000 electric vehicles annually by 2012,

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