Ener1, the electric car battery company that the Obama administration gave a $118 million stimulus grant to, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Thursday.
Ener1 becomes the third green energy company to go under since the Obama administration dedicated $80 billion to clean energy development in 2009.
Beacon Power, a Massachusetts energy-storage firm and Solyndra, a California solar-panel maker, both filed for bankruptcy in 2011. Collectively, the two failed companies cost taxpayers nearly $580 million.
Ener1 was granted $118 million from the Energy Department as part of President Obama’s push for green energy in 2009.
Also worth noting is that Ener1 received $10 million in funding from the Bush Administration.
The bankruptcy comes exactly one year after Vice President Joe Biden visited Ener1’s factory in Indiana and praised the company’s strides toward energy efficiency.
Biden, who infamously called the company “Enron 1” in his speech, touted the federal grant as a major job creating investment.
“That grant is making it possible for Ener1 to expand its current manufacturing and assembly operation from 336 workers at its Indianapolis manufacturing and assembly facilities, to over a thousand by the start of 2013,”said Biden.
The more than $100 million given to Ener1 was part of the $2.4 billion Recovery Act investment, which expanded the production of batteries for electric and hybrid cars.
President Obama addressed the failure of certain clean energy endeavors in Tuesday night’s State of the Union Address:
“Some technologies don’t pan out; some companies fail,” said Obama. “But I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy.”
Ener1 was originally projected to create 1,400 jobs by 2013, but was currently only employing 350 workers.
Despite Ener1’s bankruptcy, several of its subsidiaries, including EnerDel remain in operation. EnerDel plans to continue to provide batteries to customers in the electric grid, transportation, and industrial markets.
In addition to the failure of Ener1, electric car sales did not meet White House projections in 2011. General Motor’s Chevy Volt could not even meet its modest goal of selling 10,000 vehicles last year.
Obama previously stated that his goal is to have 1 million electric cars on the road by 2015.
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