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Electric car maker plans Indiana manufacturing plant

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Norwegian electric car maker Think Global will locate its U.S. manufacturing facility in Indiana, Reuters reported Tuesday, citing information from a major investor in the company.

Details, including the exact location, are not yet available.

Charles Gassenheimer, CEO of lithium-ion battery maker Ener1 Inc., told Reuters that the carmaker has applied for a government loan as part of a program set up to encourage production of fuel-efficient vehicles. Ener1, the parent company of Indianapolis-based EnerDel Inc., owns 31 percent of Think Global.

Think has plans to relaunch its Think City all-electric vehicle, which can travel up to 112 miles on a single charge, in Europe with initial production of about 5,000 units, Reuters said.

New York-based Ener1 earlier this month reported a third-quarter loss of $15.8 million, despite growing revenue. Management said losses grew due to higher research-and-development expenses.

EnerDel, which develops lithium-ion batteries for cars, in August announced a $100 million expansion to create 850 jobs across Indiana by 2012. About 275 of  the new positions are earmarked for the Indianapolis area.

The lithium-ion battery company already employs 100 people at its headquarters at 8740 Hague Road on the far northeast side of Indianapolis. The new Indianapolis jobs will involve research and cell production. Sixty more jobs are planned at 15425 Herriman Boulevard in Noblesville, where a renovation is expected to begin soon. The Noblesville location will assemble battery packs.

The rest of the jobs will be based at a battery-manufacturing plant to be located at an undetermined site in Indiana.

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