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Pioneering Electric Carmaker Goes Bankrupt

From the UK’s Financial Times:

Electric carmaker Think files for bankruptcy

By John Reed in London
June 22 2011

Think Global, the Norwegian electric car producer that styled itself as a pioneer of battery-powered driving, filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday after failing to find long-term financing for its business…

Remember, Mr. Obama thinks an electric car is going to save General Motors. In fact, Mr. Obama believes that ‘green technology’ will save the US economy.

Ener1, the US lithium-ion battery producer which led a capital increase of Think last year, said that it planned to take a charge on its earnings worth about $35m relating to loans receivable from the company.

Meaning, Ener1 is taking a loss and ‘writing off’ its investment in Think.

Think, a niche producer of plastic-bodied all-electric city cars formerly owned by Ford Motor, had been in receivership twice before over the past decade.

What a surprise.

Its failure will support the views of sceptical industry analysts who think that electric cars still face steep hurdles to mass adoption, despite the longer driving ranges promised by lithium-ion batteries, and the flow of investment into niche producers such as Think and fledgling battery suppliers like Ener1.

“The investors we were speaking to weren’t able to commit quickly enough,” said James Andrew, a UK spokesman for the Norwegian company. “It was a case where the money ran out.”

If only they had better ties to the US government, the money would never run out.

Ener1 said in a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday that its $35.4m charge was subject to change if it received any recovery after Think’s liquidation. However it added: “We presently believe that any such recovery, to the extent it occurs at all, is not likely to be significant.”

Ener1 wrote off its $73m stake in the company in May. On Wednesday, the US company’s shares were down by nearly 4 per cent.

Think was originally launched by a manufacturer of plastic-hulled dinghies near Oslo, whose founder thought of using the same lightweight material to make electric cars.

And how can you go wrong with a plastic car?

Ford bought the company in 1999 in response to California’s mandate requiring carmakers to develop zero-emission vehicles. It put about $150m into the business, developing a four-seat car able to drive 100 miles on a single electric charge.

Thank you California for that waste of money.

Ford sold the business in 2003, and now develops battery-powered cars under its own roof

And probably only to fulfill other idiotic mandates.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, June 23rd, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “Pioneering Electric Carmaker Goes Bankrupt”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    And yet, here’s a guy who ALL ON HIS OWN (like a good American) has turned his house into a self-sufficient scion of rugged individuality http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=hydrogen-house

    Oh, and this guy, too http://www.emagazine.com/archive/2992

    Electricity is our friend. BECAUSE force much much larger than you control the oil, control Congress, control the value of the dollar, control world trade, control everything but the sunshine falling all around you and it’s ability to hydrolize. You can do it too with two “C: batteries, a couple of paper clips and some salt water.

    Sunlight into hydrogen is (Wow!) simple http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/news_detail.cfm/news_id=17141 and running your car on either free electricity or free hydrogen is something WE CAN DO OURSELVES, and damn little the government can do about it.

    And that, for me, trumps every V8 ever made.

    (which I love)

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      Struck a nerve there. Yup, the government really hates free energy. It’s somehow anti-proletariat, isn’t it?

  2. proreason says:

    now celebrating 100 years of uninterrupted bankruptcies for electric car manufacturers.

    Obviously, there can be only one explanation. Drivers are racist.

  3. Not so fast says:

    If I want to drive an electric car I always go to an amusement park and buy a ticket for the bumper cars. About 20 or 30 minutes later I usually get all of that out of my system.

  4. Gladius et Scutum says:

    So writing off $107 million dollar loss still makes battery maker Ener1 a big winner, what with the $118 million dollar Stimulus matching grant, $ 21million from the State of Indiana and $34 milllion grant to build a plant in Hancock county.http://reason.org/news/show/revving-up-electric-cars-with-gover I am certain this is just scratching the surface. I smell a huge tax-credit-driven refund.

    Indeed, Obama promised $ 2.5 billion of the Stimulus would go to ‘jump start’ the ‘electric car industry’. Its working, because I see them all over – on MSNBC, CNN, ABC, NBC and CBS (and nowhere else, and I get around).

    If you follow these things you’ll notice that battery plants seem to be the most favored places for both Obama and Biden to show up: http://www.indy.com/posts/biden-trip-to-state-battery-site-bolsters-theme-in-obama-talk http://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2010/07/obama-to-visit-michigan-battery-plant-that-will-now-supply-both-gm-and-ford-evs/
    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0715/Why-Obama-is-putting-so-much-stock-in-battery-technology http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Obama-to-plug-battery-plant-at-GE-941377.php There are several visits missing from the list, such as Milwaukee.

    The line is “Stimulus Jobs”. The truth is bankruptcy.

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