When the President and Vice-President extolled the company Enr1, they painted a picture of company creating the motive power for an electric-powered America. It was part of their strategy, not just to create jobs, but to “create whole new industries.” They were going to pick the winners instead of letting primitive capitalism pick the losers.
But it was all fantasy. As the Hill points out, Enr1 has just declared bankruptcy after spending $55M of the $118 million grant it received from the Department of Energy. “This was a difficult, but necessary, decision for our company,” Ener1 CEO Alex Sorokin said in a news release.
A press release on the company’s website said that unexpected business conditions forced it into difficulties:
“We moved aggressively to reduce costs and shift focus when the marketplace did not evolve as quickly as anticipated. Our business plan was impacted when demand for lithium-ion batteries slowed due to lower-than-expected adoption for electric passenger vehicles,” continued Sorokin.
Bloomberg notes that “GM’s Chevy Volt Misses 2011 U.S. Sales Goal as Safety Probed”. “GM is expanding production to 60,000 Volts this year with 45,000 of them earmarked for the U.S. The Volt is being investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration because its batteries caught on fire in the weeks following three government crash tests.”
“The story that GM gave us that Volt sales were constrained by supply doesn’t hit the nail on the head. It was constrained by demand,” said Jeremy Anwyl, vice chairman of Edmunds.com, an automotive research website based in Santa Monica, California. “GM asked the dealers to sell the demonstration models but it didn’t seem to make a difference.” …
Chevrolet dealers may struggle to convince mainstream buyers that the car’s gasoline savings justify the $31,645 price after federal tax credits, said Jim Hall, principal of 2953 Analytics Inc., a consulting firm.
“It takes a tremendous amount of thought for buyers to understand the value of the Volt,” said Hall, who is based in Birmingham, Michigan. “The value is there but it’s a hard thing for Chevy to sell.”
Although Audi of America chief says ‘that anybody who buys the car is an idiot’ because ‘no one will be willing to pay the expected $40,000 base price of the Volt when the cars it’s competing with are $15,000 less’, he is definitely wrong because “General Motors will buy a Chevrolet Volt back from any owner who is afraid the plug-in extended-range electric car will catch fire, the company’s CEO told the Associated Press today.”
Here’s Vice President Joe Biden at another speech mispronouncing Enr1 as Enron 1.