After much debate swarmed the Solyndra bankruptcy filing late last year, many are criticizing Ener1 for the filing wondering why the $100 million in financial support wasn’t enough to maintain profitability. As the parent company of an electric car battery maker, the company is speaking out about the volatility of the market and their future as a company.
Ener1 manufactures lithium-ion batteries for electric cars, which have suffered a sharp decrease in demand in recent years. Despite environmentally conscious campaigns, much of the market has been hit hard by the recession. With fewer consumers opting for electrically powered vehicles, Ener1′s operations quickly fell with the buying trends. Ener1 CEO, Alex Sorokin, says the bankruptcy “was a difficult, but necessary, decision for our company. We moved aggressively to reduce costs and shift focus when the marketplace did not evolve as quickly as anticipated. ”
No one can argue with yet another business being impacted by today’s economy, but many are questioning the necessity of the bankruptcy filing after Ener1 received a $118 million grant in 2009 from the Energy Department. The grant was part of President Obama’s stimulus package and green energy campaign with the intent to reshape the way American’s buy and drive automobiles. The real debate isn’t whether Ener1 will shape up to be another Solyndra, but whether their collapse is telling us something about the green initiative or the fate of American manufacturing.