Report: Electric-car maker Think hits brakes

Maker of electric town cars is in "financial distress" and is appealing to the Norwegian government for financial assistance.

Think Global, which makes the Think City electric car, is having difficulty securing money to continue operating and is seeking state aid from the Norwegian government, according to a report.

Reuters reported on Monday that Think CEO Richard Canny held a news conference where he said that the company needs up to $29 million in loan guarantees.

The Think City from Think Global. Martin LaMonica/CNET Networks

It plans to reduce staff by at least 50 percent and stop production with an eye toward restarting in the first quarter of next year, the report said.

The company said the global financial crisis has made it difficult to get working capital and parts suppliers are demanding more difficult financial terms.

In a statement, the company said it had "limited possibilities for funding working capital through bank credits without extra guarantees in today's financial markets."

Representatives from the Norwegian government told Reuters on Tuesday said that it would not directly intervene to prop up the company.

Think, which used to be owned by Ford, is one of the more high-profile electric-car makers.

It is already manufacturing the Think City for sale in Europe. It had planned on rolling out a new version in Scandinavia early next year that would have a top speed of 65 miles per hour and a range of about 100 miles. Battery makers Ener1 and A123 Systems had been contracted to supply lithium-ion batteries for the city cars.

Think has run into financial problems before, having gone bankrupt twice. But it secured new investors in 2006.

 

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