Energy Dept. defends $118M grant to bankrupt battery maker

Josh Peterson Contributor
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The Department of Energy, which issued a $118.5 million grant to the now bankrupt battery company Ener1, is describing a fresh infusion of $80 million in private capital as a sign that the company’s technology “has merit.”

In a statement provided to The Daily Caller Thursday, Energy Department spokesperson Jen Stutsman said that the grant to EnerDel, a subsidary of energy storage technology company Ener1, “is supporting a cutting-edge battery manufacturing plant that is producing batteries in America that are being sold across the country and around the world.”

“This grant is part of the Department’s efforts to commercialize promising vehicle technologies that will help America to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and ensure U.S. companies can compete in the global auto industry,” said Stutsman.

“While it’s unfortunate that Ener1, the parent company, has entered a restructuring process, the new infusion of $80 million in private capital demonstrates that the technology has merit,” added Stutsman. ” As the company has said, the restructuring is not expected to impact EnerDel’s operations and that they do not expect to reduce employment at the site.”

The company has brought on interim CEO Alex Sorokin who, according to his bio at Hasley Lane Holdings, LLC., “has acted in a senior advisor role to more than 40 companies, in and out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.”

Ener1 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Thursday.

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