Electric car maker Think files for bankruptcy in Norway

Think has struggled on its own, after being released by Ford Motor Co., which was its owner from 1999 until 2003. A court-appointed trustee will manage the company in the interests of creditors, the company said in a statement. "THINK filed for bankruptcy after failing to attract adequate capital to continue funding operations," the statement said.

"We needed some additional funding, and although we had interested investors, they were not able to come to the table quickly enough," Think spokesman James Andrew told Automotive News Europe. The all electric cars can travel 100 miles on a single charge, using lithium-ion batteries made in Indiana, Think said.

But with a price tag above $30,000, the tiny urban electric car has had to compete against other electric vehicles such as the Nissan leaf and the Chevrolet Volt. Just a few months ago, Think began delivering its first vehicles to the U.S. and had planned to expand the rollout later this year.

A North American subsidiary based in Dearborn, Mich., is not included in the bankruptcy, though the trustee will eventually decide the unit’s fate. Initial production on what the company had hoped would be 20,000 cars a year had started last year at a factory in Elkhart, Ind.

There are 10,000 Think electric vehicles on the road. Some have been adapted as ambulances in the Netherlands, cargo vans in Finland, taxis in Norway, mail carriers in Tokyo or as race cars in Europe.

Think Bankruptcy Might Not Affect Elkhart

City officials say they’ve been told the bankruptcy of Think Global is not expected to have an immediate impact on Think North America’s operation in Elkhart. The electric vehicle manufacturer filed bankruptcy documents this week in Norway, but the Elkhart Truth reports city officials have contacted the company, which says the move should not affect the Indiana assembly plant.

News of the bankruptcy filing was first reported in a statement to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission by Ener1 Inc. (Nasdaq: HEV).

The company’s EnerDel unit in central Indiana supplies lithium-ion batteries for the Think City vehicles assembled in Elkhart. EnerDel expects to take a charge of more than $35 million due to the Think Global bankruptcy.