IBJNews

Sluggish demand for electric car forces layoffs at Ener1

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Battery maker Ener1 has laid off about 3 percent of its 770 employees worldwide, partly because of lower-than-expected demand from the Think electric car being assembled in Elkhart.

About 380 of New York-based Ener1's work force was assigned to facilities in Noblesville, Indianapolis and Mount Comfort prior to the layoffs, corporate spokesman Brian Sinderson said. He was not sure to what extent the cuts affected local operations. A mix of engineers and production workers were let go, he said.

Think previously said it expected to sell 2,500 cars in the United States this year. But the company recently asked Ener1 to halt shipments of batteries while it works through an oversupply of inventory.

So far, Think has found its customer base among corporate and government fleets, including the state of Indiana. Ener1 has an ownership stake in the Norwegian company, which was its biggest customer at one point.

Sinderson said production for Think might resume in the third or fourth quarter, and some staffers could be called back.

With a $40 million contract to supply back-up for the Russian power grid, however, Ener1 is shifting resources to its energy storage division.

That shift was on display Thursday at the Mount Comfort assembly plant, where about a dozen employees used hand tools to put the finishing hardware on battery packs. Ener1 had to come up with the assembly process quickly to meet the contract demand, so it's relying on a lot of manual labor, Operations Manager Shane Weddle said.

Each battery pack holds four modules, which are about the size of a 12-pack of canned beverages. The pallet-size batteries were destined for a shipping container that ultimately would hold 1 megawatt of power.

Elsewhere in the plant, Ener1 is assembling batteries for the all-electric Volvo C-30, which will go into low-volume production in June. Volvo expects to produce 400 cars through the first quarter of 2012 with the majority going to Sweden, said Lennart Stegland, president of Volvo Cars special vehicles. That first run will include 100 cars for the U.S. market in the first quarter of next year, he said.

Stegland was on hand Thursday to help show off the silver C-30 in a test-drive event for bloggers from around the country. The electric commuter car looks much the same as Volvo's regular C-30, a sporty two-door hatchback. Its maximum speed is about 80 mph, and it can go 75 to 95 miles without recharging.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Cost
    In California, the cost for one of Think's EV cars actually drops from 35K to 19K after the cal and federal tax credits. 19K is comparable to a prius, so its not like they were insanely expensive.
  • ENER1's cell price
    Enter1's cell price is way to high, that is why they are not selling a high volume of batteries. If they could get their cell price to less than $1.00 per/AH they could sell a ton of batteries to anyone building an EV. There are containerloads of batteries purchased every month used in EV conversions due to the price of LiFEPO4 batteries from China being cheaper. ENER1 doesn't sell to the public, and their batteries are 500% more than the equivalent batteries from China. Judging by the video relased of Ener1's battery production line, it is slow and not automated enough, that could add to the price signifigantly.
  • US Demand Weak
    As it happens, Think has sold something just over 100 electric cars in the US so far this year. This is only 5% of the (2,000) sales forecast by the DOE for 2011.

    At the current rate, 20% of the sales target will be reached by years end.

    If oil hits 5$ per gallon this year, we may see an upward shift in EV sales. Even then, the sales target is likely to be missed.

    EVsRock!
    http://www.evsroll.com
  • Sluggish demand for electric car forces layoffs
    How much corporate welfare will be returned to Indiana?
  • Go Figure
    Folks, it's just another government subsidized nightmare.
  • REASON FOR POOR ELECRTIC CAR SALES
    One reason for poor electric car sales could be the price. i priced some electric cars and the price was nearly $50,000. This is way to high of a price for an automobile whether it is gas or electric. If the price was more affordable like $15 - $25k then sales would be higher. Also people are unsure of how long the batteries will last and how much they will be to replace.

    Post a comment to this story

    COMMENTS POLICY
    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
     
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
     
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
     
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
     
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
     

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by
    ADVERTISEMENT

    facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
     
    Subscribe to IBJ
    1. Good Day I am Mr (Victoria Wright) from United state of America, i stayed in NEW YORK, and i have a broke up business, until i found this company email who help me to gain a loan for business,, and now i want to used this short medium to congratulate the below company for the fast and safe money they loan to me without any form of collateral, i loan 500,000USD from the company to save my business and lots more, i saw their mail on the internet, everyone always give testimony for what they did, so i quickly contacted them and they all did everything for me without stress and my money was sent to my account just 3 days later, i was surprise and i feel so glad, now i have a standard business control agent who help me, now i will advice those who need urgent loan to contact him at the bellow email:zenithfirm12@gmail.com

    2. NOTICE:This is to inform the general public that Vampires are real. My name is James Franklyn.,am an agent of vampire,am here to introduce our new world trend to you,a world of vampire where life get easier,we have made so many persons vampires and have turned them rich,you will be assured long life and prosperity,you shall be made to be very sensitive to mental alertness,stronger and also very fast,you will not be restricted to walking at night only even at the very middle of broad day light you will be made to walk.In case you are wildly oppressed by some unscrupulous persons we can still help you fight them.Your protection is assured immediately you join.Just contact the bellow email if you are interested we are here to attend to you anytime you want us. Contact the bellow email for more details. Email:vampirescreed@hotmail.com Sincerely: James Franklyn.

    3. Bravo! Someone else that is willing to speak the truth! Bravo!_____NBCSN is available in almost 2 MILLION more homes than just a few years ago, but Indycar STILL gets less total viewers than it did just a few years ago when NBC took over Versus. Attendance and ratings cratered with the end of season races (just when the title battle got "interesting" HAH!__________And now...new race in Basilia, where Miles celebrated the "rich history" of Indycar racing there. Rich history? What, 7 events in the 100 years of AOW? Yep, some history. Well, at least its an oval. It's not??? Are you kidding me??? Gosh darn road racin furriners.

    4. PURITY RAY LOAN OFFER........ Have you been denied by your banks,or are you in need of of an urgent loan to pay of your bills we are capable of giving loans @ cheaper rate to interested individuals, student, companies and members of the public in need of finance to settle bills, we do offer considerable loans which you can count on. For more information on our various types of loan,then you will have to contact PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM, to help you achieve your desire LOAN APPLICATION FORM TO BE FILLED BORROWERS INFORMATION * Full name:………………………. * SEX * ……………………………. * Country………………………….. * State:……………………………. * Land:…………………………….. * Occupation:…………………….. * phone number:…………………. * Telephone: ………………………….. * Age:………………………………. * Amount needed as loan:……… * Loan Duration:………………….. * Propose of Loan:……………….. * Annual revenue:………………… * Monthly Income:……………….. * Guarantee:………………………. * Payment: monthly or annually Email.....purityrayloanfirm@gmail.com Thank you and God bless Mr Purity Ray PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM we tend to serve you better

    5. Problem: most of the people responding to this article don't know about this service AT ALL! Why? Lack of awareness. This isn't IndyGo. This is CIRTA: might as well be the mattress company because they are asleep at the wheel - something like 3 directors over the last year? Playing with federal grant money is great! This "region" wants commuter rail service, has spent MILLIONS on Transportation studies yet can't even support a commuter bus line? This is largely for suburban riders to get to downtown - not for "service people to work in our hotels and restaurants" ! Get your head out of your backside!! These are professionals, students etc. that don't want to fight traffic, save some money on parking, gas, stress.... if CIRTA would put their federal money into widely promoting the sevive to Greenwood, Fishers & Carmel instead of finding directors and studies - this would be a successful service. Our family uses(d) it daily for the last several years - but the recent uncertainty & now unreliability due to cuts from Carmel has been a problem. Now, costs us an additional $350/month for gas & parking ( $4200/year) plus vehicle wear, service, environmental impact ... YES - this REGION needs this this type of service in order to keep growing and getting the people it needs to fill skilled positions in downtown Indianapolis. Think outside of your own car !!!

    ADVERTISEMENT