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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bolloré Groups and Pininfarina team up to produce and sell an electric vehicle

Bolloré Groups and Pininfarina team up to produce and sell an electric vehicle

December 21, 2007- Bolloré (EPA:BOL ) and Pininfarina are teaming up to create a 50/50 joint venture to produce a 100% electric vehicle. The vehicle will be marketed under the Pininfarina brand. The total capital investment is estimated at 150 million euros. The vehicle will be manufactured in Italy and will benefit from Pinninfarina’s extensive track record in design and the production of top-of-the range vehicles. It will be equipped with the revolutionary Lithium Metal Polymer battery developed by the Bolloré Group.

Bolloré is a French group founded in 1822. The Group reports revenues of more than 6 billion euros and employs over 32,000 people worldwide.
Bolloré Group’s diversified operations range from industry (films and thin paper, super capacities and specialized terminals), to transportation and media. The Group also has significant holdings in Havas, Aegis, Mediobanca and Vallourec.

Bolloré Group has developed a new battery based on the technologies it has been developing over 30 years now as the world's leading manufacturer of components for capacitors.

The Italy-based Pininfarina group was founded in 1930. It employs 3,000 people worldwide. It is currently a major sub-contractor of the automobile industry, offering manufacturers its expertise at each design stage and manufacturing process of niche vehicles. Pininfarina is famous in particular for cooperating with Ferrari and Maserati. It has a production capacity of 60,000 cars a year.

The vehicle to be jointly developed and manufactured by Bolloré and Pininfarina will be a four-seater, 100% electric car, therefore with 0% carbon dioxide emissions. The vehicle will operate with a battery that will make it autonomous for 250 kilometers in an urban environment. The battery is the result of 15 years of research; thanks to its high energy density and long life, an equipped vehicle can reach a mileage of more than two hundred thousand kilometers
As the Lithium Metal Polymer technology is an all-solid technology, it does not use any liquid, therefore there is no leakage which could lead to heating and possible fire. The battery's enhanced safety features are provided by the stability of the materials which prevent any self-ignition above 200°C and therefore no possibility of an explosion. This technology, developed exclusively in the world by the Bolloré group, presents a decisive advantage over Lithium Ion.
In addition, each battery cell is electronically protected by passive and active systems which permanently monitor the state of the battery as well as the voltage and temperature of each element. All the cells are housed in a steel box to protect them from external tampering.

The new battery’s large capacity allows the Pininfarina vehicle to start very fast (4.9 seconds to reach 50kms/h), to safely pass any other vehicle thanks to its capacity to accelerate and reach the maximum speed of 130kms/h.

It can be recharged on any domestic electric outlet. A full recharge takes approximately 5 hours but 5 minutes of recharge is enough to last for 25 kilometers.
A number of large cities throughout the world are already equipped with street electric recharge outlets. As sales develop, we expect municipal authorities, service station networks and public car parks to install the required recharging facilities. Many European countries and parts of the US are already equipped to allow the vehicles to maintain a constant temperature despite the cold.

The Pininfarina electric vehicle will be sold simultaneously in Europe, the United States and in Japan. It can be ordered as from December 2008 and the first clients will receive their vehicles at the end of summer 2009. The vehicle will be sold at 500 euros/month.

The production capacities which depend on the number of batteries produced by the Bolloré Group in its two plants in Brittany (Ergué-Gabéric) and Canada (Montreal) will allow the delivery of 1,000 vehicles by mid-2009, 4,000 in 2010, 5000 in 2011, 10,000 in 2012, and 15,000 the following years. The plants’ battery production capacities will of course be increased if the vehicle is a success.

While waiting for the marketing of the new Pininfarina vehicle, the Bolloré Group can present to professionals the exceptional energy supplied by these new batteries installed on the 10 prototypes Bluecar which it previously designed and which passed approval tests on August 7 2007. These presentations are available at the Vaucresson test center, near Paris or the Ergué-Gabéric research and production center.

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