When electric vehicle maker Think filed for bankruptcy last spring, it owed millions of dollars to EnerDel subsidiary Ener1. Ener1 was also a major investor in Think and a lot of the company's worth was tied up with the Norwegian EV maker. Any way you slice it, Think's failure put Ener1 in a bind. They were unable to collect on their debts, and their investments were suddenly worthless. Just recently, Ener1 was forced to restate their losses in 2010 from $69 million all the way up to $165 million as they factored in the departure of Think.

It follows that this was a big setback for investors in Ener1. According to many small investors in the company, it was also a big surprise. Investors have reported that Ener1 had been making positive statements about the condition of Think, leading those investors to overestimate the value of both Think and Ener1. As Ener1 was moving to restate its losses, investors were lining up to take the company to court. However, proving this type of case is often difficult and investors will have to show that Ener1 was both aware of Think's true condition and that they reported false information leading to a loss for the investors.

To complicate matters, Think has been acquired by a group headed by Russian investor Boris Zingarevich, who is also a major investor in Ener1. Zingarevich isn't exactly a newcomer on the scene, since he had a sizable stake in the company before it failed. So for the most part Think is operating under new ownership that's remarkably like the old ownership, Ener1 is still supplying the batteries, and both companies are still joined at the hip, but a lot of money has gone away.

Those TV viewers mourning the end of certain soap operas on daytime may find they can get similar enjoyment out of watching what happens next in this saga.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 7 Comments
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wonder how they can have so much money when they make so bad decisions.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      btw, I inquired about buying 10000 of their PHEV cells from Enerdel. pretty good cell on paper. rather than tell me a price they got lightning motorcycles to contact me and before I could get a price they wanted financial statements about my company.. I had to certify a certain annual business before being worthy of getting a price quote. I even offered to pay up front if they were concerned about payment. it is a complete mystery how it's possible to be that dense. yet another battery maker that doesn't want to sell their cells.. good riddance.
        brotherkenny4
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        It is a mystery why the people who make cells don't want to sell them. EnerDel, however, is not the only battery company with this mysterious behavior. Honestly, they should just sell them on the internet at 20% over cost, attach a standard disclaimer regarding safety and use, and see how many they can sell.
      Jim McL
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ener1 is selling to Volvo cars and to utility storage customers as well as Think. Like a lot of corporations, they see to much risk in selling to small operations. It depends on one's business model.
      Roy_H
      • 3 Years Ago
      I can't believe that everyone, including the investors, wern't aware of the large risk involved. Simply as an observer I have posted my doubts here about Enerdel's policies since they first announced interest in purchasing Th!nk shares. It was obvious that Ener1 couldn't sell their batteries to anyone (they did get some interest from Volvo) and clearly bought into Th!nk to force them to buy their batteries. The theory was that this was supposed to prove that their batteries were suitable for EVs. This was clearly desperation marketing. On Ener1's website they post no specifications, just vague terms like superior design, nothing to suggest that they were building anything more than commodity L-ion cells. When they announced the price of the Th!nk, it was clear that the cells were a major part of the cost of the car, a bare bones 2-seater at the same price as the much more sophisticated LEAF. Who really believed this was going to fly?
      Roy_H
      • 3 Years Ago
      So, working backwards does that mean that Boris Zingarevich bought Th!nk at a $165M discount? Even so I don't envy him as I cannot imagine how the company can be made profitable unless they source batteries very cheaply elsewhere.
      goodoldgorr
      • 3 Years Ago
      With the news about solid-state batteries from toyota, then ener1 and think are worth even less.