Charles Gassenheimer is CEO of Think's battery supplier, Ener1, which has been the bridge financier. "I strongly believe we are on track to complete the financing by the end of the month," Gassenheimer said.
According to Gassenheimer, a Norwegian business daily reported two weeks ago that Think had secured $50 million in new financing. Gassenheimer says, however, "the deal's not done yet."
Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers and Rockport Capital Partners are minority shareholders (and GE has been an investor) in Think Global, which has relatively sophisticated battery car technology developed, in part, while under Ford ownership. Think Global had been selling its City cars (with a unique thermoplastic body) on the European market (including new deals with Austria, the Netherlands and Spain) until running into financial reversals last year.
With a hoped-for Department of Energy loan (the company is reportedly on a short list), Think Global wants to build a plant in the U.S. starting as early as next year. Think Global said back in December that it is talking to eight states, including Michigan, about hosting such a plant. It hopes to initially employ 300 workers and have a starting capacity of 16,000 cars a year, ramping up to 900 employees and 60,000 vehicles a year.
Meanwhile, Think and Ener1 are partners in a deal announced July 27 to convert gas-powered delivery vehicles to battery operation for the Japanese postal service. The first two such drivetrains have been delivered to Japan's Zero Sports, a conversion partner in the plan to electrify Nippon Post's fleet of 22,000 vehicles (starting with a quarter of the total).