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Back in October of 2007, Ener1 and Think Global inked what was hailed as the largest contract for lithium-ion batteries in automotive history. Under terms of that agreement, Ener1 was to deliver li-ion prototype packs to Think in March 2008 and pre-production packs in July 2008. Once those milestones were met, Ener1 expected Think to purchase $70 million in batteries between 2008-2010 and assumed that the total value of its contract with Think would exceed $200 million. By definition, expectations are just that: something expected. They are by no means automatic.

Earlier this year, Ener1 reported a widening first-quarter loss tied to a $59.4 million impairment charge due to the stalled operations of its electric vehicle partner. Faced with widening losses, Ener1 decided to write-off its entire investment in Think, essentially ending its nearly four-year-long partnership with the automaker. According to The Street, Ener1's regulatory filing reads, in part:
On May 9, 2011, we surrendered to Think Holdings, for no consideration, all shares of Think Holdings' voting equity held by Ener1...based on our determination that our investment in Think Holdings was impaired and written down to zero.
Ener1 held a 31-percent equity stake in Think Holdings, which it has now given back to the company. What an abrupt end. Hat tip to Matt!

[Source: The Street]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Nick From Montreal
      • 3 Years Ago
      This quote perfectly captures the situation: "Ener1 had all its automotive eggs in one basket and it dropped the basket. It was a major owner of Think Global and the only large scale automotive customer.... While management believes Think will come back, we doubt it will ever fully recover. A $30,000 plastic two-seat electric car just isn't going to attract a mass market." -------- Electric cars are doing very well without expensive US battery startups. They probably expected US car companies to go with US batteries, which they didn't. Then, you have Renault-Nissan using their own battery design. Carmakers wisely have gone for lowest-price solution here, so there is very little margin for a hungry battery startup. Without trying, Tesla and ACPropulsion are making more money off their EV powertrains than Ener1 is from automotive applications. To succeed in the automotive market, Ener1 should do like them and provide the entire powertrain solution, not just batteries. Then again, that's only going to delay sales even more... 2$ a share is about right...
      Jim McL
      • 3 Years Ago
      I just read the Ener1 earnings call: http://seekingalpha.com/article/269194-ener1-ceo-discusses-q1-2011-results-earnings-call-transcript This sounds like it is more news about Ener1 than it is about Think. They invested in Think in 2007 before the financial collapse, and mostly not even in cash. Some kind of stock swap, I'm not sure. Ener1 is still a stake holder in Think, they are just cleaning up their books and reassessing estimated investment values. They did better than some in the great recession. My Think EV arrives tomorrow they say. I'm not worried.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think both companies are guilty of not caring about being cost competitive. the many bankruptcies of Th!nk should probably also have entered into the due diligence of Enerdel. and have resulted in a no. one could speculate that Enerdel knew how bad Think was but created the collaboration thinking that it would attract deals with more real car makers. offering actual product at actually competitive prices might be more conducive to business than getting in bed with the walking dead. they could do that now but I doubt they have learned from it. bit of a mystery where these companies get the money to keep going
      • 3 Years Ago
      The only thing that was impared about this whole relationship was the super high cost of Ener1's batteries. Think, now shed of the Ener1 relationship, should go back to their roots with the Zebra sodium battery. The sodium batteries are a great design and can be produced very cheaply. They have long cycle life and are not effected by cold temps. Of the millions and millions of miles that are on Think's worldwide, 95% of those miles have been on the MES-DEA Zebra sodium batteries.
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 3 Years Ago
        nah zebras are awful. all those stripes and they scare easily : ) but seriously, a battery that needs to be 300 degrees C constantly is an amazingly bad product. much much better to use thundersky (now winston) or sky (now calb) cells. good solid workhorse batteries at decent price. but I don't think that think can be saved at this point. if they could sell the car for 10k$ plus the batteries that could work but I suspect they've built up so much debt and expensive production that they'd have to sell at 30k in volume to survive. so many things went wrong.. forget about it as the italians say
      • 3 Years Ago
      Th!nk City with EnerDel lithium battery has better range than the big car maker's EVs has. Ener1 made their goal; to prove that the EnerDel lithium battery is superior to the Chinese lithium batteries in real life use. No surprise there. Now the US car manufacturers need to open their eyes and start producing EVs again. The battery is now good enough, that was not the case when GM's EV1 used lead/acid battery. Now we need a variety of EVs so that each on of us can choose an EV that can take the number of passengers that we need and have the range we need. Luckily, the Th!nk City fits me perfectly. Tom R Simenstad Oslo, Norway 2000 Th!nk City driver since June 2003
      Neil Blanchard
      • 3 Years Ago
      That stinks... What now, for Th!nk and for Ener1? Neil
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Neil Blanchard
        nah it's a good thing. we don't need to hold on to companies that don't have the end goal in mind.
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