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Electric-car maker Think gets rescue funds

Lithium-ion car battery maker Ener1 leads $5.7 million "interim financing" to restart production of small Think City all-electric car to market.

Electric town car maker Think Global has been thrown a financial lifeline from battery maker Ener1 and other investors.

Last month Think CEO Richard Canny told reporters that the company was running out of working capital and had to suspend production of its small all-electric car, the Think City. The latest version with lithium ion batteries, giving it a range of about 100 miles and top speed of 65 miles per hour, was slated to go on sale in Scandinavia early this year.

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

On Monday, Think said that it has secured about $5.7 million in "interim financing," led by Ener1, one of the battery suppliers for the Think City.

In a statement, Canny said that the money isn't enough to get the company operating at full speed again:

"This interim financing is an important step for us to be able to recommence production as soon as possible and we are grateful for the support of Ener1 Group and our existing investors. We have encouraging engagement with a number of potential new equity investors for our recapitalization process," Canny said.

In a statement Ener1 CEO Charles Gassenheimer said the investment aligns with the company's strategy to "invest in the future of electric drive."

Think's financial problems underscore the difficulty of bringing cars based on new technology to market during a bad economic downturn.

Investors are cautious to invest in a new and expensive auto technology being used in a relatively young product category. Electric cars also require upgrades to the electricity infrastructure and more consumer education to take off, say auto industry executives.