Posts Tagged ‘Ener1’


photo: Think

Here’s a bit of good news from the otherwise dreary alternative automotive world: Norwegian electric carmaker Think has put 44 laid-off employees back to work following the completion of a round of interim financing.

In December, Think halted production of its City battery-powered urban runabout and laid off half its workforce as financing to expand the company’s operations dried up. Then last week Think announced that it had obtained a $5.7 million bridge loan from investors led by Ener1, a battery maker who is supplying the City with lithium-ion power plants.

The financing has been completed and Think said Friday that it had rehired 44 workers in management, sales and supplier operations. But Think is hardly out of the Norwegian woods yet. The company still needs to raise around $40 million to resume full-scale production of the City and proceed with its plans to sell the electric car in select European markets outside Norway before expanding to the United States. Think has raised more than $100 million from European and U.S. investors, including General Electric (GE) and Silicon Valley and East Coast venture capitalists.

“We are very content that this first visible step in our plan towards restart now is in place,” said Think CEO Richard Canny, a former Ford (F) executive, in a statement. “We still need to raise the permanent capital, but this first call-back signals both internally and externally that Think is committed and able to turn the situation into a positive direction for the company.”

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photo: Think

Norwegian electric carmaker Think said Tuesday it has obtained a $5.7 million bridge loan from battery maker Ener1 Group and other investors to allow the company to resume limited production of its City urban runabout.

In December Think idled its assembly line and laid off workers as the global credit crunch took its toll and the company was unable to obtain funding to finance continued production of its electric vehicles.

Think CEO Richard Canny said in a statement Tuesday that the company is continuing negotiations to raise capital but the interim financing from Ener1, which is supplying lithium-ion batteries to Think, will allow the recall of some workers to complete cars from parts on hand.  “We have encouraging engagement with a number of potential new equity investors for our recapitalization process,” said Canny.

The Think financing comes as Ford (F), Toyota (TM), Honda (HMC) and other major automakers unveil prototypes for new electric cars and plug-in hybrids at the Detroit Auto Show.

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