Electric Motors Corp. (EMC), Navistar and Think all announced big plans to take a town whose receding RV manufacturing industry left it with a 20-percent unemployment rate and put it at the forefront of electric-vehicle manufacturing in the US. President Barack Obama even visited Elkhart in 2009 when Navistar received $39.2 million in federal grants for electric delivery truck manufacturing. And, in late 2010, the local Think factory was assembling 20 electric vehicles a day, though most of those parts were actually made in countries such as Finland and Turkey.
But then came the dark times, and the companies all lacked the funds to support production once the grants ran out. By 2011, Think parent Think Global had filed for bankruptcy for a second time, while Navistar's switch over to natural-gas vehicle production didn't take, either. Now, the town, which is about 150 miles north of Indianapolis and about 110 miles east of Chicago, has little to show – except fot two Think EVs that are used by the municipal government. Read the whole story